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Three Articles of Interest to the NF Community

By March 27, 2013December 5th, 2023Awareness

Three recent articles point up some of the challenges in drug discovery:

Niacin, Statins And Difficulties of Drug Discovery by John LaMattina in Forbes
Key quote: “There are a number of lessons from this story. First, there is no such thing as ‘low hanging fruit’ in drug R&D. Here is a case where a company was simply trying to improve on a well-known drug – a vitamin no less – and found that the drug had toxicities that hadn’t been appreciated.”

Web Hunt for DNA Sequences Leaves Privacy Compromised by Gina Kolata in the New York Times.
This article points up the privacy challenges as we enter a period of enhanced genomic research. Key quote: ” ‘To have the illusion you can fully protect privacy or make data anonymous is no longer a sustainable position,’ Dr. McGuire said.”

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequelby Rebecca Skloot in the New York Times.
Key quote: “As Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says, ‘This latest HeLa situation really shows us that our policy is lagging years and maybe decades behind the science. It’s time to catch up.’ ”

The age of personalized medicine is dawning, with the intersection of drug discovery and genomic analysis becoming more tightly linked.

We all want to maintain as much privacy as possible, yet participate in research that has the promise to treat individual patients as well as help the broader community. Navigating the privacy issues these new technologies open up will rightfully be on the front burner in the coming years.