Health secretary praises Newcastle scientists for 'historic' DNA breakthrough

Posted: March 12, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Pioneering DNA research set to offer hope to millions of people could also help secure more jobs for Newcastle, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has told the Chronicle.

Mr Hunt was in the city to meet scientists and Tyneside families who have been involved with genetic testing that has been labelled as significant as the development of the internet by Prime Minister David Cameron.

In a medical breakthrough, North East scientists taking part in an unprecedented genome sequencing project have, for the first time in the UK, diagnosed rare diseases in two families after mapping their genes.

The technique, developed at Newcastle University, uses an individuals genetic blueprint to enable doctors to personalise medical care.

It means the Tyneside patients involved can now receive specialised treatment for their conditions, as well as helping prevent future generations who share their DNA from suffering a life of uncertainty.

Mr Hunt was introduced to the families taking part in the 100,000 Genomes Project at the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University.

He said: This is historic, a huge amount of hard work into this. Its a very proud day for Newcastle and a very proud day for the NHS.

If you said in 1990 that the world was going to change because of this thing called the internet, people would have looked at you sceptically. David Cameron believes that genetic research is going to have that kind of impact on humanity.

The fact that Newcastle is at the centre of this genetic breakthrough adds to the sense of buzz here and hopefully will secure more jobs.


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Health secretary praises Newcastle scientists for 'historic' DNA breakthrough

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