When one thinks of patents, one generally thinks of mechanical contraptions, the products of a creative genius, such as Thomas Edison. Rarely does one think of human genes. Alas, since 1982 the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents on human genes.
In my first piece on personal genomics, I wrote about how data on one's genome can provide information on one's disease risk. Such personal genomics studies estimate the probability of someone getting a disease.
Creating a drug to target just one regulator may have little impact. But the more we understand the regulatory networks involved in health and disease, the more chance we have of identifying the key vulnerable pinch points in our organ systems.
Holistic health has become inevitable. A piecemeal approach to wellness doesn't fit how your body works. It is no longer "alternative" medicine that concerns itself with broad issues of holistic wellness.
America's obesity epidemic isn't improving because the information about how to reverse it didn't lead to motivation. The government can jiggle the food pyramid, but that won't matter as long as Americans haven't stepped on to the pyramid in the first place.
Currently insurance companies, by and large, pay for targeted carrier status genetic testing if it can be justified and if you are pregnant. But this timing is not optimal and the ancestry guesswork is often wrong. Consumers should have the choice to test before conception.
Conventional wisdom has it that the genetic changes underlying evolution are random accidents. Now that we have almost 60 years of DNA-based molecular genetics and genome sequencing behind us, a different picture has emerged.
As scientists improve their ability to manipulate the genome, will a market might emerge for people who want to imprint quotes into their own DNA, or even their children's, as a sort of genetic tattoo?
Unfortunately, there is a tendency towards a paternalistic attitude by certain groups in the medical professions who seek to limit access to medical information that is not directly under their control.