Monday, 20 April 2009

Genetic research in a "blind alley" in search for cures for common diseases

Professor Steve Jones, one of Britain's top geneticists, said the belief that a few genes held the key to ridding the world of conditions such as cancer and diabetes has proved to be "plain wrong".

In most cases hundreds of genes are responsible, and often they have less effect than other factors such as diet, lifetstyle and the environment people live in.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the academic and author led calls for a complete overhaul of the "scattergun" approach, which is backed up by millions of pounds in funding by governments and medical charities such as the Wellcome Trust.

He said he was one of a number of "renegade" scientists who were beginning to question such research: "It's not done to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, nor to bite the hand that feeds you - nor, in my own profession, to criticise the research programme of the Wellcome Trust, an enormously rich charity that paid much of the bill to read the message written in human DNA. Read more
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