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In search of genetic precision

This week's Lancet editorial calls into question the current way in which studies that suggest an association between a gene and a particular disease are published, and discusses the criticism that scientific journals-including THE LANCET-have received when they report these studies.

The main reason association studies are published is to provide 'a first clue in the search for therapeutic targets.' However the bias towards the publication of studies with a positive outcome means that many studies are simply not available to the scientific community, a particularly alarming finding since few positive associations are confirmed in subsequent research. The editorial says that scientists and journals need to work out how to bring together all the accumulated evidence and hence need to rethink the problem of how to make available all data that has been collected, whether published or not, or reporting a positive or negative association with disease. Only in this way will scientists have a precise idea which genetic associations are likely to be helpful in the search for new therapeutic targets.


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Contact: Joe Santangelo
j.santangelo@elsevier.com
212-633-3810
Lancet
30-Jan-2003


Page: 1

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