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Alzheimer. What If We Could Prevent it?


The Human Genome Project was an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the entire sequence of chemical base pairs (represented by the letters A, G, C, and T) that make up human DNA. Many scientists believed at the time that genetic predisposition was the heart and soul of human disease, and thus the key to understanding how to cure many of them. By unraveling and decoding the human genome, we’d solve at least some of humanity’s largest health woes.

The moonshot project continues to be a marvel of human ingenuity and certainly paved the way for others to come, most recently the Obama administration’s BRAIN Initiative to map out all of the neurons in the human brain. That we are a species that can read its own DNA could be described as something of a miracle, if only using such a word didn’t undermine the decade-plus of work by the brilliant minds behind it.

There’s only one problem.

After the completion of the project in 2003, scientists were dumbfounded by how rudimentary the human genome actually is. No one could have anticipated just how few genes it required to make up a human. In fact, some lesser animals have more genes than the roughly 23,000 that make us us. Our genetic complexity puts us in the same range as mice. Even the water flea has more genes than us. Humbling, to say the least.

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Photo credit: jurvetson / Foter / CC BY

About Frank Scheers

Mijn geboortestad Amsterdam is een prachtig uitgangspunt voor journalistiek. Amsterdam staat voor vrijheid van meningsuiting en tolerantie. Als journalist wil ik mij vrij en zonder beperkingen kunnen uiten over hetgeen zich in Amsterdam afspeelt, maar ook in de rest van de wereld. Ik schrijf zoveel mogelijk mijn eigen content, maar scan ook de rest van de wereld af naar opvallend nieuws. Dit nieuws hoeft niet altijd breaking news te zijn. Dit kan heel interessant nieuws zijn dat even belangrijk is als breaking news, maar iets minder bekend is, maar net zo belangrijk kan zijn voor de opinievorming. Naast nieuws uit Amsterdam en wereldnieuws richt ik mij ook op fraaie artikelen over politiek, mode, luxe artikelen, gezondheid, het milieu, entertainment, life style, business, onderwijs, shopping, gastronomie, reizen et cetera. Amsterdam Today is een actief online news magazine en wij brengen artikelen in het Nederlands en in het Engels. Belangrijk om te noemen is dat Amsterdam Today zich bezig houdt met Immersive Journalism. Dat wil zeggen dat wij fascinerend nieuws brengen in combinatie met virtual reality technieken. Je ervaart dan het nieuws alsof je er zelf bij bent. My hometown Amsterdam is a wonderful starting point for journalism. Amsterdam stands for freedom of speech and tolerance. As a journalist, I can express freely and without restrictions on what is happening in Amsterdam, but also in the rest of the world. I write my own content as much as possible, but also scan the rest of the globe for striking news. This news doesn't always have to be breaking news. This can be very interesting news that is as important as breaking news, but slightly less known and just as important to the way people form their opinions. In addition to news from Amsterdam and the world news I also write about articles on politics, fashion, luxury, health, environment, entertainment, life style, business, education, shopping, wining and dining, travel and so on. Amsterdam Today is an active online news magazine and we bring articles in Dutch and in English. Important to mention is that Amsterdam Today deals with Immersive Journalism. That means that we bring fascinating news in combination with virtual reality techniques. You will experience the news as if you were there. Contact: Website | More Posts