March 08, 2005

Dr. Watson on Schizophrenia and Genetics

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology

Harvard's Crimson newspaper today covered a genetics talk by Dr. James Watson - the co-discoverer of the double-helix architecture of DNA (and Nobel prize-winner because of this discovery).

Dr. Watson, the story notes, has a son who has schizophrenia. Given Dr. Watson's exalted position in genetics research it would seem that he would be a good person to work with (for national advocacy groups like NAMI and Canada's schizophrenia society) in working towards genetic testing and genetic therapies for schizophrenia and other serious brain diseases, as well as prevention of insurance discrimination against the mentally ill and their families.

The Crimson notes that Dr. Watson said that "Although medicinal research into the treatments of genetic diseases is progressing, Watson said he advocates measures to lower the number of families who are affected by these ailments."

“I like to believe that we could find the right drug,” said Watson, who was part of the team that discovered the double-helix structure of DNA. “But my son can’t take care of himself...[we should] fight against genetic injustice.”

Dr. Watson was also a proponent of "specific genetic testing on an individual level, so that people considering having children will know the potential for genetic disorders in their offspring".

For the full story go to:

Watson Promotes Preventative Eugenics - DNA pioneer advocates genetic testing for couples before they have children

For More information on the center where the talk was held:

The Genetics and Genomics Training Program


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