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Ten years after President Bill Clinton announced that the first draft of the human genome was complete, medicine has yet to see any large part of the promised benefits.
For biologists, the genome has yielded one insightful surprise after another. But the primary goal of the $3 billion Human Genome Project — to ferret out the genetic roots of common diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and then generate treatments — remains largely elusive. Indeed, after 10 years of effort, geneticists are almost back to square one in knowing where to look for the roots of common disease.
A Decade Later, Genetic Map Yields Few New Cures [via NYTimes]
A decade ago, drug companies spent billions of dollars equipping themselves to harness the newly revealed secrets of human biology. Investors bid the stocks of tiny genomics companies to stratospheric heights.
That “genome bubble” has long since popped. And not only has there been no pharmacopeia, but some experts say the Human Genome Project might have at least temporarily bogged down the drug industry with information overload.
As the head of Novartis’s pharmaceutical business lamented in 2000, “Data, data everywhere, and not a drug, I think.”
Awaiting the Genome Payoff [via NYTimes]