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{bio,medical} informatics

Wednesday, March 08, 2000

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Yahoo! News UK Firm Applies for Patent on Gene Profile System
"A British company has applied for a patent for a gene-profiling system that can quickly reveal a person's genetic make-up and susceptibility to disease.

Genostic Pharma, based in Cambridge and Edinburgh, claims the system could help doctors predict the course of an illness, the best drugs to treat it with the fewest side effects, and how a patient will respond.

"This, in effect for the first time, defines what will be really useful to know to hopefully enable a doctor to improve his management of the patient,'' Dr Gareth Roberts, the company's director, said in a telephone interview."

"It's a way of delivering individualized patient care.''"
New Scientist A gene profiling system threatens to reveal your innermost secrets
""Where Genostic comes up with thousands of gene variants to put on their chip is a mystery to me," says Francis Collins, director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute near Washington DC. Daniel Cohen, chief genomics officer at Genset of Paris, agrees. "There haven't been enough population studies, as far as I know, to assess with enough precision the risk or predisposition for any of the diseases mentioned in the patent," he says.

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Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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