Perhaps this report on the utility of DNA/genetics/genomic research will help move autism research away from the genetics-heavy approach of the last decades and into more usable, actionable research for biologically based treatments. It's time to re-evaluate the current funding model within the autism grant community.
Read the full article in Newsweek.
By Sharon Begley
DNA As Crystal Ball: Buyer Beware When it comes to predicting risk of disease, Alzheimer's genes—and others—strike out.
...Yet, as the JAMA study shows, there are serious doubts about how useful genomic information is going to be, outside of a few rare applications such as the ability of a child with leukemia to metabolize chemotherapy, one of the earliest attempts to pair genomics with medicine...
Personalized medicine has many high-profile partisans, such as Francis Collins*, director of the National Institutes of Health, who made the case for the field in his recent book. (emphasis and asterisk ours.) Nevertheless, second thoughts are clearly setting in as a result of studies like those I outlined above. Last year, geneticist Steve Jones of University College London wrote in The Daily Telegraphthat despite the billions of dollars that governments, industry, and foundations have poured into genomics and personalized medicine, "the mountain has labored and brought forth a mouse," one that will have little effect on how medicine is practiced, let alone predicting someone's risk of disease.
* You may recall a post written about Dr. Collins by David Kirby titled. NIH Director Francis Collins Blames Resignation of Top Health Official from Autism Panel on “Tension and Lack of Trust