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DNA Synthesis, Clinical IT Integrations and Mickey Mouse-Themed Wedding

I just returned from the Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference in Orlando with lots to think about.

Craig Venter, most famous for being one of the first to sequence the human genome, delivered an enlightening and energizing keynote address. Synthesis of DNA that, inserted into a host cell, takes it over is a stunning accomplishment with ramifications that I hesitate to put into words without further reading and exploring. The now-real ability to sequence a genome for $1,000 is equally thought-provoking in the ramifications for disease identification and treatment.

I also spent some time discussing personalized medicine, which offers early use of sequencing by incorporating biomarkers with the phenotypic data that is collected in clinical trials. Putting the right tools and personnel in place to take advantage of these capabilities is a challenge for those of us striving to increase trial efficiency.

At the show, I was happy to see so many organizations from the Medidata Partner Program. Medidata Technology Partners continue to build and promote interoperability of clinical systems in web time, which is music to my ears.

The couple on the flight home, him with black Mickey ears with a top hat and her with white Minnie ears and a veil, had me intrigued as well. Maybe a dating website helped these two, who continued to wear this headgear after they landed, find each other? The applications of technology continue to fascinate!

Any new technology, of course, goes through an adoption curve from discovery of the possibility to application to meaningful use, which can take decades. How long before these technologies are applied to human disease therapy? My prediction: more than five years, probably at least ten. What do you think?

More about Anne Zielinski