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George Church Says Microsoft and Google are Helping with the Growth of Personalized Medicine

Posted May 12 2009 3:59pm

Xconomy had a chance to catch up with George Church with a few questions and commented favorably on the use and working towards helping patients with genomic data.  He stated it’s not so much about genomics as it is personally controlled health records and speaks of the ability to share genomic findings to further enhance our knowledge pool.  With combining genomic information with current health information it will allow for individuals to see the big picture.

So far for the second round of free sequencing, he stated they have over 11,000 individuals on file who are ready and waiting to have their sequencing done, of which there are 100 slots.  Below are a couple prior posts that give some additional information about how genomics and education stand to help and promote better health care, and what we can or will do with the information.  You can get started at any time with either software to begin building your own personal health record.  BD

An Introduction to Genomics – Humans have Bugs just like Windows does and It’s all about the Code

Precision Medication – Lack of Education Holding up Progress for Personalized Medicine

The genomic era hasn’t yet produced a revolution in personalized medicine, but it’s coming, says Harvard University geneticist George Church. Major tech companies like Google and Microsoft are making it their business to help people keep track of their health data—side-by-side with their genome sequence data (if they’ve got it). The adoption of these technologies has been slow to date, but combined with a new policy push for electronic medical records in Washington D.C., it just might move medicine away from one-size-fits-all approach that’s been the standard for so long, Church says.

That was the most interesting idea I picked up from talking with Church after he spoke at the Xconomy Forum on biotech innovation that we held recently at Biogen Idec headquarters in Cambridge, MA. People perked up their ears when Church talked about genomics and personalized medicine, since he’s one of the world’s leading thinkers on those topics, and has also worked hard to apply his ideas at a number of emerging biotech companies. The list includes Cambridge, MA-based Knome, a provider of genomic interpretation services; South San Francisco-based LS9, a renewable fuel company; and Mountain View, CA-based Complete Genomics, a gene sequencing company that has brought down the price of a genome to $5,000.

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I think there’s a movement that he could support for specifically targeting personalized medicine. It will happen anyway, but it would be nice if he got behind it. Basically, what we’re looking for now from an economic standpoint is something comparable to what happened in the Clinton Administration. They started out, the economy wasn’t so great. Because of the computing, and Internet revolution, things turned out great. There was a budget surplus. That could happen again this time around. It’s probably not going to be computers and the Internet again, this time it’s probably going to be biotech and medical genetics.

Google, Microsoft May Help Usher in Personalized Medicine Wave, Says George Church | Xconomy

Related Reading:

Personal Genome Project looking for next wave of volunteers for an entire sequencing

Interpreting the Genome - understanding all the data

And now a word from the CEO of Complete Genomics
George Church Talks about DNA Genomic Mapping in Plain Terms
Interpreting the Genome - understanding all the data
An Introduction to Genomics – Humans have Bugs just like Windows does and It’s all about the Code
George Church Talks about DNA Genomic Mapping in Plain Terms
An Introduction to Genomics – Humans have Bugs just like Windows does and It’s all about the Code
The Burden of Knowing – Genetic Sequencing and what you might find out
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