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Opinion

Complex genetic diseases: controversy over the Croesus code

Alan F Wright* and Nicholas D Hastie

Author Affiliations

MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK

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Genome Biology 2001, 2:comment2007-comment2007.8  doi:10.1186/gb-2001-2-8-comment2007

Published: 1 August 2001

Abstract

The polarization of views on how best to exploit new information from the Human Genome Project for medicine reflects our ignorance of the genetic architecture underlying common diseases: are susceptibility alleles common or rare, neutral or deleterious, few or many? Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) technology is almost in place to dissect such diseases and to create a personalized medicine, but success is critically dependent on the biology and "Nature to be commanded must be obeyed" (Francis Bacon, 1620, Novum Organum).