June 2000 Bulletin

Genetic research may turn science fiction into reality

It sounds like something out of the Star Trek series but a leading medical geneticist says that within a few years, it will be possible to collect DNA with a cheek swab and place it on a microchip, where it will be analyzed for the 50 most common genetic variations associated with various diseases.

Reuters Health news service reports that Alan E. Guttmacher, senior clinical advisor to the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, believes that in less than 10 years, physicians also will be able to prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer using genetic research.

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