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{bio,medical} informatics

Monday, June 18, 2001

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find related articles. powered by google. BBC Many attitudes 'in our genes'

"Everything from liking rollercoasters to attitudes to the death penalty is influenced by our genes, say researchers."

"Liking rollercoaster rides and sweets are just two of the things that may be determined by our genes, according to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology."

redux [07.07.00]
find related articles. powered by google. UniSci Book Cites Dangers Of Misunderstanding Human Genetics

"Kaplan examines the roles genetic explanations for these types of differences play in our culture -- and how science has been used inappropriately to "medicalize" problems that should be more properly addressed as complex social issues.

Kaplan explores six specific areas -- intelligence (IQ), criminality and violence, homosexuality, depression, obesity, and the centrality of genetics in defining parenthood."

"He also explains the problems involved in "finding genes" for complex human behaviors by comparing the genomes of people who have a particular trait with the genomes of those who do not. The resulting medicalization centers the problem on the individual."

"... an emphasis on the biochemical and the genetic share the property that they make the condition out to be internal to the patient. Once a genetic explanation is offered, and any plausible sounding pathway proposed, the opportunities for claiming that there are other ways of approaching the problem are radically curtailed."

The problem becomes entirely that of personal biochemistry: the danger is in adopting easy solutions without looking at other reasons for the problem -- and without questioning the framework in which certain temperaments or sexual orientations become defined as problems."

[ 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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