Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: August 17, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959216 | Print ISBN: 9781412959209 | Online ISBN: 9781412959216 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Dafna Tachover & Richard A. Stein
The 1953 discovery of the DNA double helix revolutionized the biomedical world and catalyzed the advent of an entirely new group of disciplines—from genomics, the study of entire genomes, to more specialized areas including toxicogenomics, nutrigenomics, pharmacogenomics, and so on—that as a group promised profound changes in disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The development of genomics was catalyzed by the initiation of the Human Genome Project, an unprecedented international collaboration launched in 1990, which proposed to map the human genome, understand the genetic basis of disease, and create a freely accessible body of data to support continuing research and progress. Some of these advances have become the subject of controversies, and one of the most recent debates, with profound medical, legal, scientific, and social implications, revolves around gene patenting. While genetics-related controversies regularly surface in the news and public discussion, the legal ownership of genetic information is a highly technical ...