The Song Remains the Same

by jeeg 22. January 2015 21:20

As I listened to President Obama run through his checklist of proposals during the State of the Union speech the other night, I felt a bit of déjà vu at his mention of the promise of personalized medicine. Here’s what he said:

“I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine -- one that delivers the right treatment at the right time… So tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.  We can do this.”

Grand promises of genomic medicine are nothing new, of course.  But that wording, from a President no less, seemed eerily familiar.  So I went back and checked and there it was, from then President Clinton’s 1998 State of the Union address:

 “As part of our gift to the millennium, I propose a 21st Century Research Fund for path-breaking scientific inquiry, the largest funding increase in history for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute.

We have already discovered genes for breast cancer and diabetes. I ask you to support this initiative so ours will be the generation that finally wins the war against cancer and begins a revolution in our fight against all deadly diseases.”

What’s old is truly new again!

Jeremy Gruber



1/23/2015 1:42:13 PM #


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