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Genetics in Medicine: Real Promises, Unreal Expectations. One scientist's advice to policymakers in the United Kingdom and the United States

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 28 April 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1069
  1. Stuart W G Derbyshire, assistant professor
  1. University of Pittsburgh Medical CenterUSA

    Steve Jones

    Milbank Memorial Fund Available at

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    You cannot accuse Professor Jones of having his head in the clouds. The past 20 years have brought forth a clatter of excessive claims for genetics, first in society and more recently in medicine. Jones' voice has been a welcome antidote, and his web-delivered report Genetics in Medicine: Real Promises, Unreal Expectations is a worthy addition to his realistic and balanced outlook.

    Jones is right to emphasise that the current clinical applications of genetic knowledge are minimal and are likely to remain limited for the next decade. While understanding genetic susceptibility for diabetes, for example, might eventually yield improved treatment for certain subpopulations, a change in …

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