Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Tallying it Up

It's a number that he says has been spotted in many places, but In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe wonders whether researchers really know the causes of 4,500 diseases. The figure, Lowe adds, is usually used in reference to the National Institutes of Health's translational medicine program.

For example, a new Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics article references it, saying that "we now know the causes of more than 4,500 diseases, but it has been estimated that more than 90% of these still have no effective treatment."

Lowe writes that this figure seems rather high, and he tries to trace it back to its source, which appears to be the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man Gene Map. The scoreboard there says that the molecular bases of 4,838 phenotypes are known.

"But read the fine print: 'Phenotypes include single-gene mendelian disorders, traits, some susceptibilities to complex disease … and some somatic cell genetic disease …'" he writes. "My guess is that a lot of what's under that banner does not rise to 'knowing the cause,' but I'd welcome being corrected on that point."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.