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Promising GenomicsIceland and deCODE Genetics in a World of Speculation$
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Michael Fortun and Roberto Reis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247505

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247505.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

GenomicsXSlot Machines

GenomicsXSlot Machines

(p.253) Ch 20 GenomicsXSlot Machines
Promising Genomics

Mike Fortun

University of California Press

The Human Genome Project had overemphasized and overproduced what William Haseltine, CEO of Human Genome Sciences Inc., called “genetic genomics,” privileging the reference sequence for the human genome, and had relied too heavily on using that sequence to isolate potential drug targets. That approach might be fine for “populations where there is a clear lineage”—Estonia was the example Haseltine used, but Iceland would have served just as well—but more “outbred” populations required what he called “expression genomics.” When you play the slot machines in Atlantic City, you know that despite it being a game of chance, the game nevertheless has a well-defined structure: in the long run, the house always wins. While investing in genomics is not exactly parallel, since you always have the option of “going short” or “going long,” in general, the house will have a structural advantage. The broader Icelandic financial landscape was changing rapidly in the period before and during the deCODE Genetics years, and one feature of this new landscape was a more vibrant gray market.

Keywords:   Human Genome Project, William Haseltine, Human Genome Sciences, genetic genomics, Iceland, expression genomics, gray market, slot machines, deCODE Genetics

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