‘All Of Us’ Initiative Will Collect Biggest Trove Of Public Health Data Ever Created, But Critics Are Wary
Some caution that the huge amount of data could bring more confusion than clarity.
Blood From 1 Million Americans May Offer Clues To Disease
Federal taxpayers are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a quest for blood samples, medical information and fitness readouts from a million Americans. It's called the All of Us precision medicine initiative, and it's the biggest push ever mounted to create a huge public pool of data that scientists — and anybody else who is interested — can mine for clues about health and disease. Proponents say this big data approach to medicine will be revolutionary. Critics aren't so sure. (Harrs, 12/31)
More Genetic Data May Not Lead To Better Health
The Mayo Clinic is building its future around high-tech approaches to research known as "precision medicine." This involves gathering huge amounts of information from genetic tests, medical records and other data sources to ferret out unexpected ideas to advance health. But one longtime scientist at the Mayo Clinic isn't playing along. Dr. Michael Joyner is a skeptical voice in a sea of eager advocates. Joyner's lab studies exercise. It is, fittingly enough, in a hospital building founded in the 1880s. While Mayo has built all sorts of new labs at its sprawling campus in Rochester, Minn., Joyner can conduct his work without glitzy DNA sequencers and other high-tech tools of precision medicine. (Harris, 12/28)
Maintaining Tissue Sample Quality Might Reduce Medical Errors
You might not suspect that the success of the emerging field of precision medicine depends heavily on the couriers who push carts down hospital halls. But samples taken during surgery may end up in poor shape by the time they get to the pathology lab — and that has serious implications for patients as well as for scientists who want to use that material to develop personalized tests and treatments that are safer and more effective. (Harris, 12/29)