Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Fast Company slams gene research


Fast Company has come out with a well-written but flawed story about how little genetic research has done to improve our health. Which would be fine and dandy, were it true or if the writer of the article, David Freedman, had the slightest bit of foresight. Freedman delineates how many promises were made once the human genome was decoded, and how far we’ve come in the 10 years since that event. And to be fair, there hasn’t been a huge leap in progress…yet. But biotech is roughly at the place computing was in 1980. Today we carry around the equivalent of a Cray supercomputer in our pocket, use cameras that recognize faces, shoot HD video onto tiny cards and network with people around the world. We have made some progress, with recent gene therapy breakthroughs ending color blindness in monkeys and restoring immune systems. We’re on the bottom end of a big curve with genetics and biotech, and I think ten years from now people will look back at this article and scoff, if they even remember it all.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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