Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why Has Francis Collins Not Warned About the Paternal Age Effect?

Chief geneticist steps down
Collins credited with setting stage for medical progress
By Jonathan D. Rockoff | Sun reporter
May 29, 2008 WASHINGTON - The government's leading geneticist announced yesterday that he is stepping down after 15 years spent paving the way for the growing role that DNA will play in medical care

As director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, Dr. Francis S. Collins led the successful effort to sequence the human genome and helped secure a new law, signed just last week, barring discrimination based on genetic information. He also shepherded significant advances in understanding the genetic causes of common diseases, while attempting to reassure a public concerned about the ethical implications of the fast-moving developments.

"He has put us where we can now move from the genome to health - to use the fruits of the human genome project to improve the health of American citizens," said Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, president of the American College of Medical Genetics.

Collins, 58, is known as a top-notch scientist who can translate complicated details into ordinary language, a government official equally adept on C-SPAN and Comedy Central's Colbert Report. As head of the genome institute, he pushed for various projects, including the sequencing of the human genome, initially viewed as time-consuming and costly, with a relentless and ultimately accurate optimism about their prospects.



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