For more than half a century, we have lived in a world dominated by the idea that the gene is the central and primary agent in biology, an era some have called the "Genetic Age." Each decade since the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA in 1953 has seen scientific advances in genetics, discoveries that have led to at least 17 Nobel Prizes. Although the time span occupied by the Genetic Age has also been a time of great public health advances, no advance in human molecular genetics can be shown to have had any measurable effect on any public health parameter of importance. It is hard to think of another field of biomedical research in which such massive public fund investments have had less public health impact to date than human molecular genetics. The only arena in which precision medicine, with its reliance on human genomic information, is likely to be helpful, is selected inherited diseases. To measurably alter the health of the population, the focus of biomedical research should be on the molecular, cellular, clinical, and population effects of the external agents and exposures that drive the incidence of most health conditions.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 537-549
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.