Public sphere and the sustainability of the bioinformatics promise

Marcelo Leite
Published: December 30, 2004
Genet. Mol. Res. 3 (4) : 575-581
Cite this Article:
M. Leite (2004). Public sphere and the sustainability of the bioinformatics promise. Genet. Mol. Res. 3(4): 575-581.
About the Authors
Marcelo Leite

The literature about genomics and bioinformatics achievements in high-impact journals such as Nature and Science has raised disproportionate expectations amongst the general public about fast and revolutionary drugs and breakthroughs in biomedicine. However, the yield obtained by database mining activities has been modest, as reported in the February 2001 issues of these journals featuring the completion of human genome draft sequences by the Human Genome Project Consortium and the company Celera. I have compared changes in rethoric employed by molecular biologists in 2001 and in April 2003, when the final sequence was announced. The comparison suggests that researchers are concerned about the sustainability of society’s investment in this field, though not explicitly.

Key words: Bioinformatics, Genomics, Genetic determinism, Human genome, Public understand of science, Science and technology studies.

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