January 2002

From Lancet

Mechanisms of disease

N.B. Please note that if you are outside North America the embargo date for Lancet Press Material is 0001 hours UK time Friday 4th January 2002.

January 2002 heralds the arrival of a new section in THE LANCET-Mechanisms of Disease-which aims to explain the relevance of new research, mainly from a genetic and molecular perspective, and its relevance to practising clinicians working in general medicine.

A commentary (p 2) in this week's issue of THE LANCET introduces the new section: ‘Medicine is undergoing a revolution in how diseases are diagnosed, classified, and treated. There has been much written about the implications of the sequencing of the human genome, but it is merely a step on the way to more rational disease treatment. In the same way that the internet has opened up a vast database of information for inquiry, the availability of the sequences for an increasing number of organisms, from bacteria to human beings, has opened up a vast genetic database for inquiry. For anyone with a question to ask of these sequences, the answer is (more or less) there. There is already an outpouring of information on a multitude of genetic associations (real and not so real) with disease. The number of papers will only increase once proteomic analysis gets going'…' The Lancet is starting a new section this week on mechanisms of disease. This will necessarily include much genetics, but not exclusively so. Of course The Lancet has published many such papers before, but the importance of research in this area now merits a dedicated place in the journal.'

The first article in this new section is entitled ‘Association between increased arterial-wall thickness and impairment in ABCA1-driven cholesterol efflux: an observational study' (p 37)

Contact: Richard Lane, The Lancet Press Office, 84 Theobald's Road, London WC1X 8RR, UK; T) +44 (0)20 7611 4076; F) +44 (0)20 7611 4477; E) richard.lane@lancet.com

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