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Open Badges 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


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).