[Ip-health] Important updates to The Great DNA Data Deficit: Are Genes for Disease a Mirage?

jonathan latham jrlatham at bioscienceresource.org
Fri Apr 27 20:18:06 PDT 2012

Dear Friends and Colleagues

In the eighteen months since we published (to some scepticism) The  
Great DNA Data Deficit: Are Genes for Disease a Mirage? there have  
been important developments in human genetics that are relevant to  
the food and environmental movements worldwide, and that deserve to  
be very widely known.

In particular, two scientific publications, the first from Jan 2012:
The mystery of missing heritability: Genetic interactions create  
phantom heritability by O. Zuk, E. Hechter, S. Sunyaev and E. Lander  
in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences.
This can be found at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ 

and even more recently, from April 2012:
The Predictive Capacity of Personal Genome Sequencing by NJ Roberts,  
JT Vogelstein, G. Parmigiani, KW Kinzler, B. Vogelstein and VE  
Velculescu in Science Translational Medicine.
This can be found at: http://www.biostat.wisc.edu/~kbroman/hgjc/ 

These papers have powerfully vindicated the scientific conclusions of  
our article. We draw your attention to three noteworthy aspects:

1) the lead authors of each (B. Vogelstein and E. Lander) are among  
the most highly cited biomedical researchers in the world
2) that their analyses, though new, are based on data that have been  
available since the human genome was sequenced. It is a rethink, not  
new data.
3) these papers demonstrate that leading medical geneticists no  
longer have realistic expectations that most human disease occurrence  
can be explained by inherited genetic predispositions.

In other words, genetic determinism of disease is a reductionistic  
fallacy that is now collapsing. Geneticists now face a long retreat  
from Moscow and the interesting question of who will rewrite the  
textbooks and tell the public.

We would also like to point out some others who have stuck their  
necks far out and predicted these events long before we did.
Joseph D Terwilliger and Kenneth M Weiss Linkage disequilibrium  
mapping of complex disease: fantasy or reality? Current Opinion in  
Biotechnology 9: 578-594 (1998)
Jay Joseph (The Gene Illusion, 2004) http://jayjoseph.net/ 
Helen M. Wallace (2006) A model for gene-gene and gene-environment  
interactions and its implications for targeting environmental  
interventions by genotype. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling  
3: 35-58.

One last point is perhaps worth making. It is important to appreciate  
that, with a few exceptions, research geneticists have not merely  
been wrong in this matter, but that they have actively and grossly  
misled society as a whole. They could have and should have known that  
genetic predispositions might after all explain very little in the  
way of disease, but they routinely failed to make clear that  
possibility and went far beyond the actual evidence in order to  
obtain public funds and prestige. Caveat emptor.

yours sincerely
Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson

Jonathan Latham (PhD)
Executive Director
The Bioscience Resource Project
jrlatham at bioscienceresource.org
Skype: jonathanlatham2


Mail: PO Box 6869
Ithaca 14851 NY

"Good with Science"

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