Intended for healthcare professionals


Challenges to orthodoxy?

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 17 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:0

It is foolish to be too certain of the natural order of things. Once the “Book of Life” is finally completed, we are expected to end up with between 30 000 and 40 000 genes—barely double that of the nematode worm, which has 18 000 (p 381). Only 0.2% of those genes are responsible for individual variation. We are not as well endowed with genes as we thought, or had hoped. In its own way, this week's issue challenges convention, in print and on the web.

Faced by a patient with recurrent low back …

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