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In the five years since the sequencing

In the five years since the sequencing of the human genome, “much of the data have little immediately useful meaning, and the research has produced only a trickle of medicine”. And where medical science has failed, hucksters have filled the gap.

Reader comments

Joshua BlankenshipOct 19, 2005 at 11:28AM

Hucksters always fill in the gaps... especially in the medical field. I think many of us are too busy/unhealthy/in need of a quick fix to know the difference between hucksteristics and science most of the time.

Jim BishopOct 19, 2005 at 12:32PM

Nova had the fourth installment of their scienceNOW series on last night where they interviewed many of the scientists at the forefront of this technology. It was fascinating. The scientists kept talking about how they are right on the cusp of something really big. They've figured out how to build all of the component pieces and are very close to synthesizing life in a lab.

Synthesizing "life" in a lab. I was floored. That doesn't disappoint; Arthur Allen seems a little short-sighted.

Mark M. SmithOct 20, 2005 at 12:31PM

Speaking as a molecular geneticist this really isn't that suprising. For one thing it's the sort of very basic work that is necessary to do further work... hardly the sort of thing that causes people to just start cranking out fantastic new work immediately. Second it's only been five years. Research, especially something truly ground-breaking takes time.

Personally even in 20 years I don't expect anything amazing to come directly from this research. It's important, don't get me wrong, but it's sort of like how having a copy of the OED doesn't create great writers merely by existing, however, it does allow witers to become great.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.