Howerd Urnovitz on the Human Genome

According to Dr Howerd Urnovitz ( ):

"Everyone knows about the big hype associated with the multiple announcements in 2000 that the human genome was mapped. These announcements did not contain the whole truth. The truth is that it was mostly Craig Venter, the principal behind Celera's major initiative, whose own genome was partially mapped. Celera and the US government, funded by taxpayers, mostly mapped the genes that make proteins. These genes are referred to as structural genes. The taxpayer got screwed, as did the Celera (NYSE: CRA) shareholders who bought the hype at $250/share (now $10/share), because the genes that CONTROL the structural genes are where the gold lies. These controlling elements are called the "regulatory genes." They remain incompletely mapped and poorly understood.

To help you understand the mind set of the human genomics community, these regulatory genes are commonly referred to in the literature as "junk genes." The name junk implies that not much is known about these elements. But in fact, the lexicon of regulatory genes is quite rich and includes things like: long interspersed elements, short interspersed elements, endogenous retroviruses, transposons, retrotransposons, Alu retroelements, short interfering RNAs, micro RNAs, snos, and microsatellites, to name a few. The study of the relationships between gene control and biological function is referred to as "regulatory genomics." Confused? We are talking about the human body. Many of us believe the beauty of life comes from its complexity.

The AIDS research community has completely ignored the field of regulatory genomics. In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) last year, I suggested that their position that HIV is the sole cause of AIDS is substantially based on scientists studying complex mixtures of biological fluids with unknown numbers of regulatory genes and concluding that one big structural gene, HIV, is causing the syndrome. THIS IS MEDICAL INCOMPETENCE AT ITS WORST."