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Over the last 10 years, we have seen the remarkable influence of the tools of molecular biology and molecular genetics on the field of otolaryngology—head and neck surgery. We are seeing new vistas in our understanding of the mechanisms of hearing, speech, taste, smell, epithelial differentiation, and the immune response, to name just a few areas of interest to us. This knowledge is allowing a new illumination of the disease processes that affect the head and neck and has and will continue to create dazzling new paradigms for the prevention and treatment of diseases that afflict the head and neck. The pace of the advancements made over the past 10 years is greater than perhaps any previous decade in the history of medicine.
To date, there have been over 2500 human genes identified and mapped to their chromosomal location, including genes associated with cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, colon
Johns ME. The New Biology and Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(10):1069. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880220013002
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