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Foiling the Treasury

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 21 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:197
  1. Tony Smith

    In the past fortune tellers made a living by persuading the gullible that they could glimpse the future and tell the young whether and whom they would marry, whether travellers overseas would return, and whether prosperity or poverty lay ahead. By the 21st century more serious and reliable forecasts will be available from the desktop computers of clinical geneticists, able to tell with some precision the chances of an individual developing not only rare disorders such as muscular dystrophy but also coronary heart disease or one of the common cancers.

    Already, indeed, geneticists are able to tell people whether they are at high or low risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, depending …

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