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{bio,medical} informatics

Thursday, May 18, 2000

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USA Today June could unfurl 2 versions of human genetic code
"Both Collins and Venter acknowledge that the job of ''annotation'' -- adding to the map of the genes and their sequence all relevant information about gene function -- will take decades and is necessary for battling disease. In that sense, the Human Genome Project may never be finished. In other words, by the time the fat lady sings at this (soap) opera, the audience will probably be asleep.

'In five or 10 years, all of this focus on a competition won't seem very interesting to the public,'' Collins says. ''What matters is whether we did this right and ended up with a quality product.''

New Scientist The genome has landed
"Next month, after a decade of work by thousands of researchers across the globe, we will have a rough draft of the human genome: the blueprint for a human being."

"A century from now, few will remember who won the race. But in the meantime, there are still plenty of questions to answer. Who controls this genetic information? Will researchers scanning our chromosomes for genes linked to inherited diseases be prevented by rival commercial interests from developing new tests and therapies? Will knowledge of what is encoded in the DNA of our own cells allow us to alter our behaviour and avoid disease, or simply inform us about our inevitable, and possibly early, demise? Will omens in our genes be used against us, by insurers, employers or governments?

In the Human Genome Special, New Scientist explores the new world that the human genome will bring."

[ rhetoric ]

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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