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The Human Genome Turns 10

The human genome has been around for a bit more than ten years, but on February 15, 2001, the first complete human genome sequence was published. This was nothing short of a revolution within medicine. Since then, great advancements have been made in our understanding of genetics and its associations with human traits and diseases.

Nature is celebrating this tenth birthday with a special titled “Human Genome at Ten.” In it, multiple papers reflect on what we learned and discovered, what is still unknown, and what we can expect for the near future. Best of all, Nature has packaged the special in a free iPad app for everyone to read, which features interactive graphs, videos, and audio commentaries.

Nature special: The Human Genome at Ten…

iTunes link: Nature Human Genome Special Edition…

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Do You Own Your Genome?

Human Genome

As the costs of sequencing our DNA shrink and the roles of digital media in our lives expand, we will need to understand who (or what) controls the ownership, access and use of our genomic information.

From state regulation to Google to Facebook, who controls the acquisition, transmission and replication of our genomic information and material will become an important battle in the 21st century. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

No More Patents On Human Genes

It was just time to end the era of gene patents. About 20 percent of human genes have patents, which is unacceptable. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times story:

A federal judge on Monday struck down patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The decision, if upheld, could throw into doubt the patents covering thousands of human genes and reshape the law of intellectual property.

One of the individual plaintiffs in the suit, Genae Girard, who has breast cancer and has been tested for ovarian cancer, applauded the decision as “a big turning point for all women in the country that may have breast cancer that runs in their family.”

Chris Hansen, an A.C.L.U. staff lawyer, said: “The human genome, like the structure of blood, air or water, was discovered, not created. There is an endless amount of information on genes that begs for further discovery, and gene patents put up unacceptable barriers to the free exchange of ideas.”

I’m curious how Myriad will respond to it.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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