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I n honor of my first Gene Genie...

Posted Sep 28 2008 10:29pm

I n honor of my first Gene Genie, I would like to take a flash back 12 years ago. Let’s visit 1995 and then come back to this century :)

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In 1995 Wired published an article called “Gene Genie”
It’s a hundred times faster than the best serial supercomputer. It’s a billion times more energy efficient. It’s a trillion times denser than the best storage media. It’s a teaspoonful of DNA that’s a computer! And Leonard Adleman invented it.

Where is this supercomputer? Well, a group of Israeli scientists in 2004 published in Nature they had perfected the same thing where a DNA computer could detect cancer changes in cells and release a chemotherapy when positive.

Such is the same for our new “genomic revolution” Where will we be in 12 years?

This revolution is mentioned by The good folks at DNA Direct where they posttwiceon thesubjectThe issue is clear, not enough trained specialist in genetics. But the question remains, is the 24th medical specialty really only restricted to metabolic diseases, developmental delay, and prenatal testing? I don’t think so…….

Still we must never forget the roots of genetics. I am all too aware of the struggle people with metabolic diseases go through every day. We hear about this atFight PompeI am not surprised by the struggle to keep up with costs of this horrible disease.

Want to learn more about storage disease? Take a look atSandwalkwhere we get9 for the price of 1

Hsein Lee atEye on DNAcommented on the topic aswell. She thinks we all can just get along. I say yes, patients and providers should get along. But patients and lab reps, just like pharmaceutical reps need to play nice too. Most of the time ;)
She also mentions the ugly side of testing at the Trinidadian Police Service where ”lie detector tests would generate greater opposition than DNA testing” True, no lie :)

Future Pundittalks about the role ofPreimplantation Genetic Diagnosisand its ever expanding uses. The specter of looks and intelligence for PGD rears its ugly head. Do I think this is a slippery slope, you bet. Especially when at the REI conference this April there were comments such as “We are the new geneticists” and “We determine mankind’s fate” were heard by my Specialist friend. Yikes here comes Aldous……..

Highlight Healthreminds us that the beat moves on. Thepostquotes George Weinstock as saying 2007 is the year of Personalized Genomics. The full article can be found on the post. The Sherpa agrees. This year IS the year of the personal genome, from ARCHON to ILLUMINA we are moving there very quickly. I agree, that is why 2007 is the year I have launched the first personalized medicine clinic in the Greater New York City area…..soon to come out West.

Controlling our gene expression is important, and the sooner we figure out how to do it effectively we will start to see some “cures” for disease.Biosingularitypoints out a study working on the master PPAR, PPAR delta. We already have drugs for PPAR alpha and gamma. I used one just the other day to “cure” a woman’s anti psychotic induced metabolic syndrome. Now that’s effective use of your OWN DNA!

We too must remember we ARE what we eat. Our DNA is modified my our foods every day. The Agouti/Choline mouse study told us our food might also be affecting our offspring’s’ genes too.Scientific Bloggingposts a studywhich is in concordance with that.

With all the debate surrounding the “utility” of web 2.0 pedias.Evolgenasks“Is scientific outreach good if facts are wrong”Something I question every day when I read the lay press regarding discovery.

These facts are often misunderstood and that’s the problem. Even more likely, is what Rummy says. There are things “we know we know”, things “we don’t know we know”, things we know we don’t know” and lastly “things we don’t know we don’t know”
I can think of two big ones blown up over the last 2 years. The dual role of fibrillin in Marfan’s disease, and Copy number variation. Thesetwo postsatGenomicronbring up that interesting content. The ideas are transmitted through road-kill…..uh I mean the opossum.

What’s the solution to all this confusion? Well, at sites like Genetic GenealogistsAsk the Geneticistwe have some answers. More likely this type of site will bring up collaboration and communication.

That’s why Rick Vidal has done a great thing by linking us together at theDNA Network
We will be able to debate, educate, and connect. That’s what’s amazing….

Let’s flash back to 1995 and see what they say…………

By forcing the connection between computers and life, Adleman is making us rethink the meaning of both. Clearly, we have a lot of figuring left to do - but we also have new means for doing it.”


Wired got it right. We do have a lot of figuring left to do and we do have a new means for doing it. Web 3.0, Medicine 2.0, and the people of the world.

Thanks for letting me host.


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