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David Murphy
professor of experimental medicine at the Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience and Endocrinology at the University of Bristol

The sequencing of the human genome is one of the greatest achievements of our civilization. We now know that to make a human being requires about 30,000 genes; fewer than we expected, but still quite a lot. The next step is to find out what all of these genes do in terms of the integrated functions, and importantly, the inevitable dysfunctions, of the human organism. We already have the basic gene manipulation and analysis technologies to learn more about genetic functions and, over the next 18 years, their industrial scale development will provide humanity with a detailed understanding, and hence control, of its physical destiny.

It is unlikely that this crucial and exciting work will be carried out in Europe, burdened as it is by the precautionary hegemony, stultifying regulation and extortionate taxation by which it impoverishes its most productive citizens in order to pay for its addiction to welfare, an ever growing army of bean-counting, bean-eating bureaucrats and an arrogant, self-serving political elite. The paradox of the twenty-first century European state apparatus is that whilst technology and prosperity should have rendered it irrelevant to the lives of autonomous individuals and to social and scientific progress, it has never been so malignly obtrusive and intrusive. But for human progress, this does not matter one jot. As deluded Europe declines, in other parts of the world, in places likes Dubai, Mumbai and Shanghai we will make disease history.

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