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thursday :: november 14, 2002
> medicine, what medicine?
the advent of genomic medicine
:: to take center stage in clinical medicine

Humans have known for millennia that heredity affects health. However, Mendel's seminal contribution to the elucidation of the mechanisms by which heredity affects phenotype occurred less than 150 years ago, and Garrod began applying this knowledge to human health only at the start of the past century. For most of the 20th century, many medical practitioners viewed genetics as an esoteric academic specialty; that view is now dangerously outdated.

Except for monozygotic twins, each person's genome is unique. All physicians will soon need to understand the concept of genetic variability, its interactions with the environment, and its implications for patient care. With the sequencing of the human genome only months from its finish, the practice of medicine has now entered an era in which the individual patient's genome will help determine the optimal approach to care, whether it is preventive, diagnostic, or therapeutic. Genomics, which has quickly emerged as the central basic science of biomedical research, is poised to take center stage in clinical medicine as well. >from "Genomic Medicine. A Primer" by Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., and Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. The New England Journal of Medicine. Volume 347:1512-1520 November 7, 2002 Number 19

related context
nhgri launches genome.gov. june 24, 2002
> ethical dilemmas of human genome. may 23, 2002
> gene(sis): contemporary art explores human genomics. april 5, 2002
> working draft of the human genome. june 26th, 2000

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