It’s just we’re putting new coversheets on all the TPS reports before they go out now. So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that’d be great.


The genome, as we all know, largely determines what we look like, our traits, and, significantly, our susceptibility to disease and other disorders. Ahituv is one of tens of thousands of well-funded researchers around the world trying to determine which segments of the genome contribute to which disorders. It is one of the biggest scientific endeavors in history, premised on the notion that the results can be used to prevent or fix many things, or possibly everything, that ails the human body — from allergies to cancer to aging itself. Dozens of biotech companies have sprung up in the past decade to commercialize this work, and one might assume that a stream of miracle pills will soon be on its way to our pharmacies.

You bet — just as soon as we work through a couple of hitches in this grand genomic enterprise. Scientists have indeed been superb at finding connections between disorders and various strips of DNA. But it turns out that in the vast majority of cases, these connections happen to be hideously convoluted, with any one disorder related to many genes and any one gene affecting many things in the body. Even when researchers are able to highlight a clear relationship between a single gene and a single disorder, they generally have little or no idea how those chunks of DNA are causing problems. (…)

It turns out that many dozens or even hundreds of genes each contribute to any given human attribute, and any one gene might contribute to several. Genes, in other words, turn out to work not as simple disease switches, but in impossibly complex networks.

{ The Gene Bubble: Why We Still Aren’t Disease-Free | Fast Company | Continue reading }

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