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Showing posts from January 23, 2011

Big Pharma Runs Out of Ideas?

Here is a nice followup to my January 6, 2011, post on patents as a measure of U.S. productivity and creativity.  Now Big Pharma is getting ready to throw their towel into the ring and call it quits of sorts.  It seems to me that they were pursuing a wrong paradigm in their research and their colossal blunder was called by the unforgiving Mother Nature.  The mistake they seem to have made is a simplistic belief that one or few unique genes are responsible for each major illness.  Identify the genes and, voila, appropriate therapy presents itself.  Well, hundreds of billions of dollars later, they seem to have discovered that gene expression is context-dependent, and the environmental influences (epigenetics) are stronger than genetics.  This may be the best example of a seriously misguided huge research effort that essentially broke a whole industry.  So now federal government is stepping in with another corporate bailout plan, this time an $1 billion/year government research lab.