In an editorial, the Guardian writes that the National Health Service has always been at the forefront of medical innovation, something that it is continuing with its plans to sequence some 100,000 patients. "At last the high hopes of gene sequencing may be translated into practical medicine," it says. "There is talk of genetics as a diagnostic tool, the development of personalized medicine, and new, precision-targeted drugs that would amount to a revolution in healthcare."
At the same time, it notes that this forward-thinking aspect is at odds with other images of the NHS and issues it faces, including a recent argument over ambulance response times.
"The genome project and the row over ambulance services are at two extremes," the Guardian notes. "What is the point, patients could be forgiven for asking, of transformative innovation at one end of the spectrum if, at the other, ambulances cannot get to the sick in time to save them?"
Still, the Guardian says that such a project could only be undertaken by an organization with the reach of the NHS, and it will keep UK at the leading edge of science.