Wednesday, February 21, 2007

MIT and Novartis Make Diabetes Genetic Info Freely Available

The Broad Institute at MIT, Novartis, and Lund University have publicly released the results of a genome-wide map of genetic differences in humans and their relationship to type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

The work is the result of a pioneering public-private collaboration known as the Diabetes Genetics Initiative (DGI), which was formed in 2004 and is aimed at deciphering the genetic causes of type 2 diabetes. The collaboration brings together diverse expertise in diabetes and metabolic disease, human genetics, genomics, statistical analysis, and drug development.

The results of the study are freely available online at

First, let me start by saying I'm pretty much a die-hard capitalist, and I believe that profit is an excellent motivator for companies in performing research and development. But I don't think that anybody should be allowed to profit off of human suffering, so that's why I'm really happy when I see something like this. A for-profit company (Novartis) has put forth their resources to help find better ways to treat or even cure a disease that affects more than 170 million people world-wide (including several people that I know personally).

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