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Genomic Medicine (Terra Futura)

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Genomic Medicine was a term for when a person had his own genome sequenced. This revolutionized medicine for a lot of people.

(Note: The background section of this page uses most of the same words as the DNA computers page of Terra Futura to save time.)

Background

Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule which holds the genetic information of a living organism. Frederich Mischer discovered it in 1869. However, it was not until 1953 that the double helix was discovered. The men who discovered the double helix were James Watson and Francis Crick. When DNA was discovered, few ever thought it could be used for anything. In 1984, however, Sir Alec Jeffries used DNA to prove paternity. In 1988, DNA evidence was used to convict Colin Pitchfork of the murders of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth. In 1993, the Human Genome Project was started. It was intended to decode the entire human genome using computers. The project succeeded by 2001. It was thought that genetic engineering would soon take off. This was helped by a DNA computer.

In 1994, just as the Human Genome Project was starting, scientist Leonard Adelman of the University of Southern California demonstrated a successful DNA computer. Much of the success that followed came from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. The scientists there developed a successful DNA computer in 2002. They incorporated a module that could cure cancer in 2004. After that, the DNA computer was commercialized. DNA computers never found there way into consumer products. However, DNA computers were used to better diagnose conditions. This made for better medicine. This also helped in improving the process of genetic engineering, thus allowing genetic disorders to be cured without compromising the good parts of the genes that caused them. It was a revolution in biotechnology.

Description

Tech Level: 10

The cost of the Human Genome Project had cost $3 billion. It was predicted that by 2020 the cost would go down far enough for everyone to have their personal genome on a CD. While working at Stanford, scientist Stephen Quake perfecting whole genome sequencing. The cost went down as far as $1,000 by 2015. By that point, a whole lot of people had their genomes sequenced. Laws had been passed to ban genetic discrimination. By 2020, the cost had gone down to $100. By then, almost everyone had their genomes sequenced. Already, many people were taking medicines that were targeting specific genes. Lifespans increased as a result. Soon, genetic disorders would be cured.

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