Cultural Symptoms: ‘Lost on the Gene Map’
The Walrus has a post titled “Lost on the Gene Map: Scientists hoped the Human Genome Project would deliver a road map for personalized medicine. But we are still unequipped to deal with its ethical and medical implications.” Here is an excerpt:
The expense of genomic sequencing is falling fast; in Canada today it costs $10,000 to sequence an individual genome. “Once a whole genome costs $1,000 or less, entire families will get their genomes sequenced,” says Michael Hayden, director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia. “But what will they do with that information?” Whole-genome sequencing generates enormous amounts of raw data that must be analyzed by highly qualified medical geneticists and genetic counselors, both in short supply (Canada has about eighty medical geneticists and 230 genetic counsellors). “DNA Sequencing Caught in Deluge of Data,” ran one recent headline in the New York Times, reflecting a common view that modern medicine doesn’t yet have the expertise to tell us what this data means, much less how to act on it.
(Find the image above here.)