The Smithsonian Institution has opened a state-of-the-art exhibition about genome science. "Genome: Unlocking Life's Code" is a partnership of the Smithsonian and the National Human Genome Research Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Using 3D models, interactive exhibits, animations and videos, the 2900 square-foot exhibition looks at the benefits and challenges of genomic medicine. The museum link is www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/genome and a special website linked to the project is http://www.unlockinglifescode.org/ .
In 2012, the Human Genome Project and related research generated $65 billion into the US economy, supported 152,000 jobs and was responside for $19 billion in personal income, according to the update to a report issued in 2011. The Battelle report was updated in 2013 to show the continuing impact of genomics on the US economy. Click for more information on the report.
A genetic revolution has started in the use of whole genome sequencing for precision medicine, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Marc Williams, MD, director of the Genomic Medicine Institute at Geisinger, spoke in November 2012 to the Lennox K. Black International Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Research – 7th Symposium, Individualized Medicine, at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. An article based on his talk can be found starting at page 42 at this link: http://tinyurl.com/LBlackSymp.
While many people are undergoing genetic testing for breast cancer, they are not taking advantage of genetic tests that could indicate increased risk for other cancers. A recent study in France shows that testing for Lynch Syndrome, which increases the risk of colorectal cancer, is underused.
Angelina Jolie, actress and director, underwent a prophylactic mastectomy recently after finding she had a high risk for breast cancer. Her op-ed commentary in The New York Times discusses her decision and the high cost of BRCA testing in the United States.
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether a private company can own a piece of your body. Myriad Genetics has a patent on 2 genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer. This means that they can (and have) placed restrictions on who conducts research on the genes, which limits scientific progress in understanding these diseases. This animated video illustrates the threats to health, patients’ rights and scientific research that are at stake in the court case Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics. The video can be seen at www.aclu.org/brca or www.aclu.org/brca-court. It’s also on YouTube at http://youtu.be/ywj_a0Mulvk.
Marc Williams, MD, director of Geisiginer’s Genomic Medicine Institute, is co-author of an opinion piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The search for the breast cancer genes, BRCA 1 and 2, is about to be a major motion picture. Click for story.
Area paper notes GMI recognition in Clarity Challenge. Click for story.
Why We Have a Right to Consumer Genetics
MIT Technology Review, Jan. 2, 2013
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Click for genomics news archive (2010 - 2012)