Human Genome Project, personalised medicine and future health care
At the turn of the millennium, the Human Genome Project and the upcoming publication of the human genome sequence promised to open an entirely new approach to healthcare, based on the genotype of the individual. This approach was dubbed personalised medicine (PM). However, the analysis of sequencing results revealed that the complexity of the biological world had been underestimated. The major project of revolutionising medicine through genomics requires a more sophisticated and multilevel understanding of living systems, which in turn demands new data, models and modes of intervention on humans and non-human organisms. Thus, the most advanced applications of PM involve a complex interweaving of biological and medical knowledge, as well as increasing attention to the technical systems through which data about any specific individual could be processed. Further, the development of PM needs to include consideration of several key ethical issues, ranging from privacy and data control to the risk that dependence on sophisticated technologies will widen the gap between haves and have-nots both globally and within any one country.
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