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Biotech Medicine United Kingdom

DNA Project 'to Make UK World Genetic Research Leader' 65

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes A project aiming to revolutionise medicine by unlocking the secrets of DNA is under way in centres across England. Prime Minister David Cameron has said it "will see the UK lead the world in genetic research within years". The first genetic codes of people with cancer or rare diseases, out of a target of 100,000, have been sequenced. Experts believe it will lead to targeted therapies and could make chemotherapy "a thing of the past". Just one human genome contains more than three billion base pairs — the building blocks of DNA. Prof Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "I can see a future where genetics is going to come into every bit of medicine from cardiology to oncology to infectious diseases." "Twenty years from now there's going to be a plethora of those, we will have a series of mutations which academics and industry will have developed therapies for, which will be targeted at you and specific for that cancer." He said chemotherapy, which attacks all dividing cells in the body, would be replaced with such therapies. "We will look back in 20 years' time and think of blockbuster chemotherapy [as] a thing of the past and we'll think 'Gosh, what an era that was'." David Cameron has announced a series of investments across government, industry and charities totalling £300m ($500m).
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DNA Project 'to Make UK World Genetic Research Leader'

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  • First steps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Travis Mansbridge ( 830557 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @01:02AM (#47587371)
    There's a big difference between mapping the genomes of cancer patients and developing individualized treatments, akin to the difference between being able to read a novel and being the editor. As it is, we can't even understand most of the human genome, but I suppose this is a step in the right direction.
    • Biologists and chemists have become quite good at going from genes to treatments; meaning, if you know which gene causes a disease, in many cases, you can come up with a treatment. The holdup for cancer has been that, genetically, it's not one disease but thousands, many of which haven't been characterized. By identifying the genes responsible, people will be able to develop specific drugs and treatments, and many cancers will likely become treatable.

      But correlating genetic and medical data will be useful f

    • by K10W ( 1705114 )

      There's a big difference between mapping the genomes of cancer patients and developing individualized treatments, akin to the difference between being able to read a novel and being the editor. As it is, we can't even understand most of the human genome, but I suppose this is a step in the right direction.

      Bearing in mind Cameron is an oaf I wouldn't be surprised if it was being rolled out for either similar behind the scenes purpose not too far off what you state, or another tory get rich[er] quick scheme. After all a lot of the gov investment and involvement in fair bit of projects has been a shill reasons with high vested interest, shares and so on in such things being the driving force and even willingness to damage the stated aim if it means more money.

  • Please clone Princess Diana!

  • I'm so paranoid... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BellyJelly ( 3772777 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @03:24AM (#47587701)
    My first thought on seeing this was that it's a way round the limits on the police retaining people's DNA records. Now we need everyone's DNA and to keep it forever, because, you know, cancer!
    • You know with the fingerprint databases the US and others have, and this "new" (its already quite old, but does that matter, I was against it when it was introduced, so it is new) EU regulation that introduces fingerprints into passports, I don't know how much they should collect more... Giving my fingerprint to the government brings no use to me, but knowing my DNA uses me more than anyone else. I rather know my own DNA and have the risk of the government knowing it too, as not knowing it with the same ris

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The genetic datases are very, very scary stuff.

        So, Mr. "Schmidt", I see from your DNA that you are a Jew.....

        And there's also the old "so, doctor, what blood type is the *milkman* if I'm not the father of this baby"? From Wikipedia:

        A study in Michigan of 1417 white and 523 black children found non-paternity rates

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is possibly one of the very few decent things he has actually done.
    Admittedly only so he can get more votes. Do all the bad shit as early as possible, "hey look we fixed the economy", now do all the really nice things so everyone jumps on-board again.
    It's not like old people care, they are the voters anyway. And half will likely have forgot.

    • It sounds like a nice thing to do, but let's take another look. Hundreds of million pounds of health spending go to Dave's mates in Cambridge, and the Illumina corporation in California. Not sure if like.
  • Political Hell (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Saturday August 02, 2014 @07:48AM (#47588115)
    The US has shot itself in the head by forcing most genetic researchers to work in foreign nations. We are now somewhat of a cripple due to right wing forces and their idiotic moral wizardry. Mega billions of cash are lost to us as other nations acquire patents and develop products. While the right wing pondered the theoretical joys of morality in a stem cell other nations applied science and funding. The right wing in the US has turned us into Clown Central or maybe we should call it the Bad Comedy Club.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Do you know the difference between genetic research and stem cell research? Very different fields. From your post, you sound pretty ignorant.

    • A lot more genetic research is being destroyed by liberals who rip up fields of test crops than by fundamentalists inveighing against stem cells.

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