The Plant and Animal Genome conference is underway in San Diego (GTO is certainly glad for the change of scenery). Yesterday morning’s plenary talks were given by the Institute for Systems Biology’s Leroy Hood and the Gates Foundations’ Rob Horsch. Hood focused on the impact that systems biology will have on medicine, calling the result P4 medicine: predictive, personalized, preventative, and participatory medicine. He adds that he wrote a summary of P4 medicine for the Obama transition team. Hood also says that he thinks the digitalization of biology will bring healthcare costs down and change the “fundamental business plan of the healthcare industry.” In contrast, Horsch focused on “very old problems and very old tools” so that “every person [has] the opportunity to lead a healthy and productive life.” In particular, the Gates foundation is focusing on increasing the productivity of maize and rice in Africa and Asia through plant breeding projects. Horsch adds that this is a chronic crisis.
The New and the Old
Jan 14, 2009