Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genomics and world peace

10.09.2002


Developing countries stand to profit most from advances in genome science, write Samuel Broder, Stephen Hoffman and Peter Hotez in this month’s issue of EMBO reports (EMBO reports September, 2002 pp 806–812). They claim that biotechnology coupled with genomics might emerge as the key technology in the 21st century for improving global health and probably even avoiding major political conflicts and wars.



The authors warn that we must no longer view the diseases of the developing world in purely medical or public health contexts. Infectious diseases could pose a major risk to the economic survival of many developing nations. Even more striking, recent data suggest that some of these diseases may have wider implications for geopolitical stability or the probability that a nation will experience armed conflict. "If it is possible to transfer weapon technology to the developing world it should be possible to transfer innovative countertechnologies to these countries. We believe that genomics could be such a countertechnology," says Samuel Broder.

The progress resulting from genomic research is significant. It has already advanced our knowledge of infectious diseases. The complete genomic sequences of many pathogens responsible for morbidity and mortality in the developing world are now established. The new tools in comparative genomics, computational biology, and informatics have already yielded promising results in studying invertebrate parasites that cause tropical diseases. When combined with the sequence of the human genome, and the sequence of some of the vectors of disease, like the Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria parasites, they offer remarkable opportunities for reducing the negative impact of these diseases.


However, the authors point out that the applications of this research might only benefit patients in the First World, since there has been little or no commercial interest in developing treatments against the tropical diseases that occur among the world’s poorest people. The authors illustrate this with several diseases such as malaria, hookworm and AIDS. "To achieve greater impact for the developing countries it will be necessary to combine the efforts made by some not-for-profit organisations and private funds to support research for the developing world and to link genomic research with vaccine research and other technologies." says Samuel Broder. "It will also be necessary to transfer these new technologies to developing countries and to give these countries access to necessary information, such as gene data bases."

Ellen Peerenboom | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.embo.org/press/reports/september.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>