Preface

The human genome project has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years among the general public as well as the scientific community. Although it is likely to be a number of years before many of the expected benefits of the genomics revolution are realized, the impact of these scientific breakthroughs on medicine is likely to become apparent quickly and will transform the entire scene within a generation.

Recent advances in genomic and proteomic technologies open up new avenues in the diagnoses and management of human diseases, and the application of these techniques may initiate a paradigm shift in clinical medicine. Initially, polymerase chain reaction tests were performed only in highly specialized or research laboratories. Presently, routine molecular assays are widely performed in virtually all sections and specialties of the traditional clinical laboratory, including oncology, hematology, immunology, and blood transfusion. Evolving techniques of nucleic acid and protein microarrays may follow a similar path to the clinician in the hospital. In human genetics, molecular techniques have brought forth new procedures for increasingly specific, sensitive, fast, simple, reliable, automatable, and cost-effective diagnostic and predictive DNA analysis. All of these modern nucleic acid technologies have significantly simplified the routine assessment of patients in the genetics clinic. For instance, advances in molecular biology and in genomics have made possible the early identification of persons at increased risk of, e.g., a thrombophilic state, developing certain forms of cancer, or degenerating neurological disorders.

In clinical microbiology, procedures based on nucleic acid analysis offer a more rapid, simple, cost-effective, and universal approach to the identification of microorganisms. The ability to rapidly and unambiguously characterize microbial pathogens suspected of causing a disease can be critical to individual and public health. These molecular techniques are used increasingly in diagnostic laboratories to supplement or replace traditional identification methods, which are mostly based on microbial phenotypic characteristics. Molecular methods for the detection of anti-microbial resistance strains or virulence factors are in development, in field trial, or already in clinical use, and will supplement or replace traditional susceptibility and toxin testing. The expansion of this technology to smaller institutions, hospitals, and point-of-care testing will improve patient care and public health significantly.

Finally, genomics and proteomics will not only transform the diagnosis of diseases, but may radically influence the treatment and even the prevention of diseases in the future. In pharmacogenetics, the molecular analysis of the inherited nature of individual differences in drug metabolism, disposition, and effects will help to optimize drug therapy on the basis of each patient's genetic constitution. Such personalized medicine will allow more effective treatment of illness by using very specific diagnostics to provide actionable information to clinicians and patients, combined with the use of a new generation of targeted and highly effective medicines. Furthermore, identification of individual genetic susceptibility to infectious diseases may have an impact on prevention strategies. There is doubt that in the future, smart molecular diagnostic tools and the growing knowledge of genetic risk factors will lead to improved diagnoses and treatment for the patient and reduced health care costs to the society.

In view of these exciting developments, the Encyclopedia of Medical Genomics and Proteomics brings together the state-of-the-art knowledge and practical expertise of leading researchers and clinicians in the field, and provides a comprehensive overview on current medical applications of modern nucleic acid and protein technology. The Encyclopedia is a vehicle by which both scientists and the interested public can explore the most recent developments in today's genomic and proteomic medicine, and preview several of the foreseen applications of tomorrow. The subject areas generally include molecular methods and technologies in the diagnosis and management of infectious, neoplastic, and genetic diseases, including predictive genetic and pharmacogenetic testing, as well as tissue typing for transplantation medicine. Each entry includes descriptions and interpretations of state-of-the-art developments, concepts, and applications that will be useful to individuals encountering the field for the first time, or to experienced researchers updating or expanding their knowledge of medical applications of current genomic and proteomic technology. Key references direct the reader to timely and pertinent information sources.

It is the editors' hopes that the Encyclopedia ofMedical Genomics and Proteomics will help health care providers, researchers, students, and nonprofessionals all better understand and participate in this remarkable emerging field. Its online edition (www.dekker.com) is updated regularly, to keep its information current.

The Encyclopedia of Medical Genomics and Proteomics resulted from the vision of Russell Dekker and a dedicated and creative Advisory Board of over 25 members, representing countries on all continents. The diligent efforts of this Board are deeply appreciated. We greatly thank the authors of more than 300 entries which, as recognized experts in their fields, lend their credibility and prestige to the Encyclopedia. In addition, we are indebted to the many reviewers whose constructive suggestions and insights materially enhanced the quality of individual entries and of the volume in total. We are especially grateful to the staff at Marcel Dekker, particularly Alison Cohen, for superb leadership in the handling of massive correspondence with the authors, reviewers, and the Editors.

To our readers, we offer you this oppurtunity:

• To the extent that you find the Encyclopedia useful, we'd like to hear why and how ([email protected]).

• To the extent that you find the Encyclopedia wanting, we also, and especially, want to hear how you believe we can make it better ([email protected]).

The Publisher as well as the Editors are committed to continual updating and refinement of what we believe is a valuable resource for transmitting knowledge and understanding about medical genomics and proteomics.

Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment