I often say that the way medicine is practiced for our children and grandchildren will be unfathomably different than it was for us. The future of medicine will be personalized prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Here is an explanatory piece I wrote recently on precision medicine, how it’s already being practiced, and a window into how it will be practiced in the near future.
We’re not there yet. The journey from here to that wonderful future of medicine will require work from scientists, researchers, and the medical community. Here is one great way you can help. Consider donating your genome to the Resilience Project!
There is detailed information on their website, so I’ll just give a brief. There are rare genetic mutations that should cause severe disease at an early age, usually in childhood. Certain exceptional individuals carry such mutations who, despite the odds, do not manifest symptoms of the illness by age 40. These individuals are deemed “Unexpected Heroes.” The Resilience Project Team, comprised by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Sage Bionetworks is on a quest for information on these rare folks. With samples from over a million healthy adults, the hope is to identify and study the fewer than 100 resilient people within that group.
While this project aims to study alleles and contributing factors for Mendelian diseases (rare and severe disorders with predictable heritance patterns), the implications could very well apply to more common complex diseases as well.
Help pull your weight on the voyage to the medical future of our kids and grandkids!
The registration and test kit process seem easy enough. You likely won’t get much back except for the awesome knowledge that you’ve helped on the journey to discovering treatment and/or prevention for these catastrophic illnesses. Even if you don’t sign up or are less than 40, check out the TED Talk by Stephen Friend of the Resilience Project. Also, take a moment to consider a no-commitment registration here!
Featured image credit: John Goode Flickr page