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Public not so sure 'personalized medicine'
Date:10/25/2007

Ordinary people worry about the extra, and often burdensome, responsibilities which could come with scientists promises of personalised medicine, according to evidence to be presented at a major two-day showcase of groundbreaking social science research into the whole field of genomics, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The event - Genomics and Society: Todays Answers, Tomorrows Questions is taking place in London on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 October 2007. This landmark gathering brings together policymakers, researchers and natural scientists with what is becoming the worlds largest concentration of social scientific research in this field - the ESRC Genomics Network (EGN) (See Notes for Editors).

Topics as diverse as plant and animal genetics, embryonic stem cell research, genetic databases, and the potential for huge advances in medicine, physical health and psychiatry are on the agenda. Regulation and ethics are also key focuses of attention, including research highlighting challenges faced by policymakers seeking to balance animal welfare against scientific productivity. And a study of four of the top ten Indian pharmaceutical firms reveals that many of the scientists who left for technologically more advanced regions of the world are now returning, bringing with them new skills and expertise from the west.

Peoples views on the use of genetic testing to prescribe and develop drugs, which has been seen as a technology that will accentuate the move towards individualisation of healthcare, were the focus of work led by Professor Brian Wynne, associate director of Cesagen - one of three research centres in the Network, and based at the universities of Lancaster and Cardiff.

Professor Wynne and Elisa Pieri used focus groups to get the opinions of hard-to-reach sections of the public, such as senior citizens, young people and parents of young children, as well as members of some ethnic communities in the north-west of E
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Contact: Danielle Moore
danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-122
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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