I don't understand much in this NYTimes article about new efforts to trace the genetic source of many diseases now that we have the entire human genome mapped. I should have taken Biology in school, even though I still wonder if that would have helped - I'm pretty science-challenged.
Geneticists said the new research showed it was now possible to sequence the entire genome of a patient at reasonable cost and with sufficient accuracy to be of practical use to medical researchers. One subject’s genome cost just $50,000 to decode.What don't I understand? For one thing why does it take so long and cost so much? I guess I thought of genome-mapping as kinda like a super-comprehensive DNA test. Just need a bigger computer and there you go: Bob's your uncle. But clearly I'm way wrong. We've only managed to map 12 people ever? No wonder it hasn't yielded more information.
“We are finally about to turn the corner, and I suspect that in the next few years human genetics will finally begin to systematically deliver clinically meaningful findings,” said David B. Goldstein, a Duke University geneticist who has criticized the current approach to identifying genetic causes of common diseases.
But add to that a couple of apparently flawed assumptions about how mutation works in common multi-gene diseases like cancer, and it sounds more and more like genetic scientists have been headed the wrong way - a slow, expensive way to boot. Hopefully those things are changing.