Gene medicine: Increasingly, genomic information
is being used in the practice of medicine.
Meanwhile, attempts at using gene therapy to treat
rare genetic diseases is enjoying a resurgence.

BIOMEDICINE NEWS

It’s All About the Genes and the Brain Machines

In 2012, genomics tiptoed into the doctor’s office, gene therapy rose again, and man and machine united.

By Susan Young on December 24, 2012

The amount of time and money needed to sequence genomes continued to fall this year, perhaps to no one’s surprise. But while the field seemed to be finally approaching the heralded $1,000 human genome, the implications of reaching that milestone are not clear. Without expert analysis, the result of sequencing a human genome is just a large file of letters. You still need to manipulate and understand what those letters mean. Different companies announced services to help, from initial processing and storage of data to interpretation of the genetic data into medical meaning.

As human genomics garnered more attention from the medical community, the technology attracted new business opportunities. In April, the company behind the most widely used DNA sequencer, Illumina, fought off a hostile bid from pharmaceutical giant Roche. Just seven months later, Illumina tried to take over Complete Genomics, a company with technology well suited to medical genomics but which has never achieved financial success. That offer followed what seemed to be an all-but-assured purchased of Complete Genomics by China’s BGI. Illumina and BGI continue to fight over Complete Genomics.

Read more: Biomedicine in 2012 Featured Medical Genomics, Gene Therapy and the Brain-Machine Interface | MIT Technology Review.

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