browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Dangerous gene myths abound…

Posted by on 15 juin 2021

20 years after the human genome was first sequenced, dangerous gene myths abound

Philip Ball

Misleading rhetoric has fuelled the belief that our genetic code is an ‘instruction book’ – but it’s far more interesting than that.

DNA sequence symbol

‘Successes in gene therapy remain rare, and medicine tailored to people’s individual genetic constitution has not yet materialised.’ Photograph: Alamy

Twenty years ago, the science journal Nature published the first draft of the human genome: the sequence of chemical “letters” on the gene-bearing DNA of our chromosomes. The Human Genome Project (HGP) had laboured for a decade to read this coded information. In a White House press conference in 2000, Francis Collins, , who led the project as director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute, waxed biblical, calling the human genome “our own instruction book, previously known only to God”.

The HGP has huge potential benefits for medicine and our understanding of human diversity and origins. But a blizzard of misleading rhetoric surrounded the project, contributing to the widespread and sometimes dangerous misunderstandings about genes that now bedevils the genomic age.

Read the whole article

Commentaires fermés