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Impacted Forever Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and all Human Health

Comments by J. C. Spencer

Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD
Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD
The work of Dr. Francis Collins over the last fifteen years will forever impact Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, MS, ALS, ADD, ADHD, dementia, neurodegenerative diseases and the future of human health.

Dr. Francis Collins has helped Sir Isaac Newton in ways neither would have ever dreamed. Mapping the Human Genome during his fifteen years with NIH (National Institutes of Health) has brought Dr. Collins from atheism to Christianity. Sir Isaac Newton said, “The purpose of science is to seek to understand the mind of God.”

The genome project and glycomics, the science of sugars, are merging as the two sciences that will forever change human thinking. Genomics is the code of all life as found in the DNA. Glycomics is the OS (operating system) to read the code. What a joy is would be for scientists like Francis Collins to join us in our quest to improve life and health through the merging of these two sciences.

"Watching our own DNA instruction book emerge letter by letter provided a profound sense of awe unlike anything I could have imagined. It was, after all, reading the language of God," Collins told Bob Abernethy, host of PBS' "Religion and Ethics News Weekly." Indeed, the title of his 2006 book is "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief."

See a related video trailer from the Home Page of The Endowment for Medical Research www.endowmentmed.org from the HOT Links of Interest entitled Unlocking the Mystery of LIFE.

I commend The Free Lance - Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia for their story on the retirement of Dr. Francis Collins.

Gene mapper

Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, is retiring

Date published: 6/1/2008

THE MYSTERY of what it means to be human was only partly unraveled by mapping Homo sapiens' genetic code. Much more is to be learned, and that's one reason why the head of the Human Genome Project is stepping down from his post at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Francis Collins, a Staunton native, was homeschooled until sixth grade. His work at NIH included not only mapping the human genome, but identifying the genes behind many common diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and Huntington's disease. The timing of his decision to exit, he said, is related to President Bush's signing of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, for which he campaigned. That law shields individuals from discrimination based on the potential for disease in their genes.

Dr. Collins' research led him on a journey from atheism to Christianity. "Watching our own DNA instruction book emerge letter by letter provided a profound sense of awe unlike anything I could've imagined. It was, after all, reading the language of God," Collins told Bob Abernethy, host of PBS' "Religion and Ethics News Weekly." Indeed, the title of his 2006 book is "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief."

What scientists found as they identified gene after gene has opened further avenues for research. In 2007, Dr. Collins' group announced that it had discovered that genes are not simply units arranged on strands of DNA like beads on a necklace. Some overlap, some share molecular codes, and they seem to "communicate" with each other in some mysterious way. What we know now about DNA roughly equates to knowing the alphabet, but not the syntax and structure, of a language.

Dr. Collins wants time to write and research. His 15-year stint at NIH has served mankind well; at 58, the guitar-playing whitecoat likely has years left to contribute. All the best.

Last Updated ( Jun 01, 2008 at 11:40 PM )