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Saturday, March 02, 2002

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find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb For Maynard Olson, It’s the (Healthy) Research Subjects, Stupid

""There's lots of mutant individuals in the population whose mutations don't make them sick but confer an advantage in modern life," he went on. For example, "maybe we should be scouring the world for people who are under-responsive, calm, and cool [in the face of stimuli] as opposed to those who have panic attacks."

The hard part, Olson said, is not the science but the recruitment. In addition to the particularly cumbersome thicket of ethical and legal issues that surrounds genetic studies on healthy people, there is a bias against moving in that direction, he said."

find related articles. powered by google. Wired News Expert: Look at the Clean Genes

""There is rarely a reliable or even logical path from genetic discovery to therapies," said Olson, the director of the University of Washington Genome Center on Monday at the Genome Tri-Conference.

He called the expectation of finding drugs to cure disease by identifying bad mutations in genes a "logistical inversion.""

redux [12.07.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Wired News A Search for the Healthy Genes

"Most of the activity in genetic research is focused on finding disease-associated genes. Almost every day it seems one researcher or another announces a new gene discovery. But it's no simple task to fix broken genes, and this approach is getting researchers nowhere fast, Olsen said.

He called it the "gene today, gone tomorrow" syndrome. Researchers find a disease gene, but the discovery offers no way to intervene in the disease pathway."

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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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