We have made great progress in mapping the human genome. Genetic researchers are now learning more about how each gene works and what it does. They also study the role that variations in genes play in disease. Genetic researchers are working to identify the genetic and environmental causes of common illnesses such as asthma, arthritis and Alzheimer disease. The results of such studies will lead to many advances in disease prevention and treatment.
Genetic research will lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Researchers are creating new types of drugs based on what we know about genes. Because these newer drugs target certain sites in the body, they may have fewer side effects than many of today's medicines. Other new types of medicines will be tailored to an individual's unique genetic profile. (See Pharmacogenetics and Phamacogenomics at: Genetics, Disease Prevention and Treatment).
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Last Reviewed: June 2, 2014