Mayo Clinic Proceedings features primers on medical genomics

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- The August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings features the first two parts of a series of primers on medical genomics. The primers will provide valuable background to help physicians and scientists understand the human genome and its implications for the practice of medicine.

The first two articles of the series provide a historical background of genetics and sequencing of the human genome and look into principles and methods in molecular biology. Part III will appear in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"The genomic revolution will profoundly alter 21st century medicine and promises to provide insight into the cause, treatment and -- ultimately -- the prevention of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease," says Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Genomics Research Center. "We are fortunate to be living at this unique and exciting time in science and the practice of medicine."

Part I of the primer series provides a brief history of genetics and the sequencing of the human genome. "The greatest benefits from the sequencing of the human genome are yet to be realized," the Mayo Clinic authors write. "Although continued advances in genetics research will be recognized most immediately by those working in genetics, the achievements, and their social and ethical implications, will affect all humanity. An understanding of the history of genetics and how we have arrived at where we are today will help prepare us to meet tomorrow's challenges."

The first article discusses humankind's earliest efforts to understand traits and their applications to plants and animals, and moves through a genetic history to the latest advancements in modern genetics. It also summarizes the "first draft" of the human genome sequence.

The authors of Part I of the primer series -- all from Mayo Clinic -- are Cindy Pham Lorentz and Gordon Dewald, Ph.D., of the Division of Laboratory Gene

Contact: John Murphy
Mayo Clinic

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