When I was in grade school in the 1970s we celebrated the bicentennial of the United States. In my memory, it was the biggest, longest birthday party ever. A big theme in our studies before and during 1976 was the US as the “Great Melting Pot” — of people, of languages, of cultures. Schoolhouse Rock even provided the illustrations.
Now it’s the 2000s and, guess what, I’m still talking about the melting pot phenomenon with colleagues. But this time, it’s the melting pot analogy* applies in terms our genes:
“Pharmacogenetics/genomics has the potential to benefit people worldwide and to reduce the health disparities between developing and developed nations. This goal is unlikely to be achieved by relinquishing the notion of personalized drug therapy tailored to individual genetic characteristics–the original promise of pharmacogenetics–in favor of a model (pharmacogenomic?) of population-based drug development and prescription, with all its potential pitfalls, especially when extended to admixed populations in developing or developed nations.”