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October 1993

Molecular Medicine: Humans and Simpler Organisms

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(10):1070-1071. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880220014003

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We are witnessing a revolution in human biology. The genes implicated in human disease are being mapped and cloned at a dizzying pace. These advances are being quickly followed by new DNAbased diagnostic procedures, and practical methods of gene therapy seem just around the corner. At the same time, the Human Genome Project is well under way and promises a complete description of our genetic makeup at the nucleotide level.

In the midst of this excitement in human biology, it is perhaps a good time to consider the role of basic scientific research and, in particular, the role of research on simpler organisms, in the new molecular medicine. What have been the contributions of research on such organisms as yeast, worms, and fruit flies, and what contributions can such research make in the future to medicine, in general, and to otolaryngology in particular?

First, it must be realized that many

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