Continuing to Think About Speed and Bioinformatics

Continuing the topic of bioinformatics, speed of research and how it impacts medical research (and thus the future of health and longevity), here's an interesting piece that pulls in personalized medicine and genetics. The punchline:

Personalized medicine - in the sense of matching patients and therapies via genomic technology - is going to emerge as a powerful concept in healthcare. The Moore's Law effect in biotech is driving down the cost, which is going to allow us to do more, just like in the computer industry. Ultimately, we'll all benefit.

But read the rest of it as well. Personalized medicine is important - a great deal of current scientific uncertainty regarding such things as hormone therapy stems from the fact that different people respond in very different ways (all governed, at root, by genetic differences and the resulting biochemistry). This shouldn't be surprising. The body is a very, very complex machine, and performing the medical equivalent of pulling some likely-looking levers and hoping for the best is a strategy that needs to be consigned to the past.

Understanding the biochemistry and cellular mechanics of the human body will lead to powerful therapies and ways to intervene in the aging process. It will also lead to a jump in effectiveness of all therapies, as they can be tailored to individuals. With more funding and more widespread support, we could see major breakthroughs within our lifetime.

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