Nwabueze, Remigius Nnamdi
What can genomics and health biotechnology do for developing countries?
Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology, 15, .
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Health biotechnology** was buoyed by the phenomenal success of the world's largest biological research program, popularly known as the Human Genome Project (HGP). 1 Though the HGP was initiated in the U.S.A., it was truly an international research undertaking involving both developed and developing countries, such as China, France, Germany, the U.K., and Japan. 2 Ahead of the projected time, the HGP achieved its main objective of producing a complete sequence of the human genome 3 by releasing into the public domain a complete working draft of the human genome in June 2000 and publishing the same in February 2001. 4 The successful sequencing of the human genome has significantly expanded the global pool of medical and scientific knowledge. 5 Scientists are currently studying the functions of individual genes in our bodies and how they interact with one another (otherwise known as genomics). 6 Though this study is still in progress, genomics is already speculated to have the potential to revolutionize health care delivery. 7 Such genomic prophecy, however, may be counterproductive if it generates indifference to reforms of existing, conventional, and workable methods of health care delivery. For instance, legitimate concerns have been raised as to the potential of genomics to distract attention from the funding of research on well-tested conventional methods of medical delivery. 8 C.F. Curtis similarly observed that while molecular/genomic means of controlling mosquitos that transmit malaria parasite might be helpful, they are not necessarily or practically superior to currently available non-molecular methods that ...
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