The genome map 10 years on, according to Luís Alberto Pérez Jurado
On 14th April Cinco Días newspaper published
an article on scientific advances after 10 years in the discovery of the main
part of the human genome (genetic map).
Luís Pérez Jurado, director of the Master
in Genetic Cuonselling, states that “Analysis is more complicated than
first hoped. Although no-one imagined that today we would be able to do what
we are doing, it appears that learning has not been so easily transferrable
to health care”.
Although experts agree that this discovery will change medicine in the future,
its current applications are not as great as first imagined. Over 20,000 genes
were discovered in 2003 and it is hoped that by the end of this year over 30,000
will have been compiled. Nevertheless, this recognition does not imply that
their functions and effects on health are known, due to the fact that each
individual's mutations can differ and may be affected by various factors.
Pérez Jurado is optimistic about two new projects parallel to the genome
which provide new information: the human microbiome (9 out
of 10 cells are microbes which weigh between 1.5 and 2 kilograms in the body)
and the epigenome, which studies the influence
of environmental factors (diet, toxins, physical activity or stress) that mark
one's DNA. In this way, it would be possible to decipher how the genome is
conditioned by outside factors.
The final objective is to move closer towards personalised medicine and provide
treatment in accordance with individual genetic information.
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read the full article.