Researcher heralds golden age in biomedical science
27 November 2007
A senior university researcher has heralded a 'golden age' of modern biochemistry and molecular biology brought about by our complete sequencing of the human genome.
In a letter which appears in the prestigious journal Trends in Biochemical Sciences in the December issue, Professor Juergen Reichardt, Plunkett Chair of Molecular Biology (Medicine) from the University's School of Medical Sciences, says that the complete sequencing of the human genome has lead to the discovery of about 10,000 'unknown' genes.
This discovery precedes a huge growth in biochemical and molecular investigations, pointing to the large number of 'unknown' genes that still exist in the human genome despite it now being fully sequenced for over six years.
Reichardt points out that these genes will be hugely important in future personalised prevention and individual therapies.
"Because of the scale of the gene products that we effectively know nothing or very little about, it is highly likely that many hitherto unknown biochemical and molecular pathways remain to be discovered," he said.
However, he also warns that the full biochemical, molecular and pharmacogenetic consequences of human genetic variations need to be fully understood in order to make full use of the human genome sequence.
"Such data would be important for rational presymptomatic disease risk assessment, personalised prevention and individualised therapy," he said.
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