Precision Medicine will need to get out of the pharma silo that is based on symptoms

Welcome to the digital era of biology (and to this modest blog I started in early 2005).

To cure many diseases, like cancer or cystic fibrosis, we will need to target genes (mutations, for ex.), not organs! I am convinced that the future of replacement medicine (organ transplant) is genomics (the science of the human genome). In 10 years we will be replacing (modifying) genes; not organs!

Anticipating the $100 genome era and the P4™ medicine revolution. P4 Medicine (Predictive, Personalized, Preventive, & Participatory): Catalyzing a Revolution from Reactive to Proactive Medicine.

After low-cost airlines (Ryanair, Easyjet ...) comes "low-cost" participatory medicine. Some of my readers have recently christened this long-lasting, clumsy attempt at e-writing of mine "THE LOW-COSTE INNOVATION BLOG". I am an
early adopter of scientific MOOCs. My name's Catherine Coste. I've earned myself four MIT digital diplomas: 7.00x, 7.28x1, 7.28.x2 and 7QBWx. Instructor of 7.00x: Eric Lander PhD.

Upcoming books: Airpocalypse, a medical thriller (action taking place in Beijing) 2017; Jesus CRISPR Superstar, a sci-fi -- French title: La Passion du CRISPR (2018).

I love Genomics. Would you rather donate your data, or... your vital organs?

Audio files on this blog are Windows files ; if you have a Mac, you might want to use VLC ( to read them.

Concernant les fichiers son ou audio (audio files) sur ce blog : ce sont des fichiers Windows ; pour les lire sur Mac, il faut les ouvrir avec VLC (

Science and society
Sometimes society gets a little too enthusiastic about the potential of science and leaps over the details of 'can you do it well?'

DNA forensics, organ transplant... Can you think of some examples? 

The Innocence Project is an organization that uses DNA testing to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals. The techniques of DNA fingerprinting and genotyping explained in 7.00x are the basis for the DNA testing done. DNA fingerprinting can more reliably exclude a person as a suspect than establish their guilt because it is easier to detect DNA differences than to be sure that all DNA sequences are identical. As a result, DNA fingerprinting is more likely to establish a person’s innocence than to establish their guilt.  

The Innocence Project has led to now the exoneration of more than 300 people, including 17 people on death row who were found to be absolutely innocent. This is possible thanks to the use of molecular biology to look at evidence that had not been analyzed by molecular biology, but it is possible to to so now...

Eric Lander PhD, Geneticist, Member -- as well as worldwide famous writer of legal thrillers John Grisham! -- of "The Innocence Project": Now I was actually delighted that about a month ago [in Apr. 2013] the federal government announced that the Department of Justice and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology would be starting a collaboration to set up groups who would help us steer standards in these areas. Anyway, it's not to say that these aren't powerful things. They are powerful things. But it is to say, and I'll say it quite explicitly, that they are misused routinely. We do not have good standards for these things."

There's no way to have an informed social discussion without scientistsgetting involved...

Should there be a national or international database of everyone’s DNA fingerprint for use in forensics? Why or why not? 

Such a database would be standing more on the side of convicting or framing people. Yet, the technology -- DNA fingerprints -- does a better job in pointing out "false positive". That is: proving that some convicted person is actually innocent. There appears to be a kind of a paradox here. How can we solve it? About genetic relatedness: children of a criminal should not appear in convicted DNA database. Such a database would have to do a better job in pointing out "false positive" cases.
A "false positive" is a great injustice to a person in life.

3 commentaires:

Low-Coste Innovation Blog a dit…

About using these kinds of DNA techniques, these polymorphisms
for variable numbers of tandem repeats, as an
identification tool in forensics..

Low-Coste Innovation Blog a dit…

DNA Forensics... How to use DNA to exonerate wrongfully convicted people... If the legal system does not allow this, then this can only mean one thing: the system is broken. The innocence project is here to fix it...

Low-Coste Innovation Blog a dit…

"And the Innocence Project has led to now the exoneration of more than 300 people, including 17 people on death row who were found to be absolutely innocent.
Because, when you could use molecular biology to look at evidence that had not been analyzed by molecular biology, you could find this person
didn't commit the rape, or this bloody shirt wasn't the bloody shirt-- wasn't the blood from the person you thought it was." Eric Lander PhD.