Richard Resnick

CEO, GenomeQuest, Inc
Westborough, MA, United States

About Richard

Bio

http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardresnick

Comments & conversations

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Richard Resnick
Posted almost 4 years ago
Richard Resnick: Welcome to the genomic revolution
Dear Kalin, Excellent comment and thanks for the commentary. I appreciate your interpretation of my views. I think you got closest to them across this discussion board. I also thank you, deeply, for growing food. Having studied under Jay Forrester, Lester Thurow, and John Sterman at MIT, I am far more concerned about sustainable population levels and planetary limits to growth. In my talk, I attempted to point out the inherent conflict between genomics increasing the population's life span (and therefore the incidental population at any time) and the planetary capacity to produce food to feed this growing population. Further, that the very same technology is also being used to attempt to address this problem. It's a wonderful suite of contradictions and it's what makes "genomic activism" imperative. Everyone here and around the world has to take a stand for what they believe in. I can tell you with certainty that the vested interests are already beginning to do so. I also love Thomas Rolfe's citation of the Bartlett quote. We live in very exciting times. I'm honored to have provoked these conversations. Yours, Richard Resnick
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Richard Resnick
Posted almost 4 years ago
If the Genomic Revolution is upon us, what basic human rights will this challenge?
I love Mark Meijer's response. More specific ideas about the implications around basic human rights (and some privileges as well): Repeatability. Different runs of the same genome can produce different results. Although this problem is rapidly diminishing due to advances in technology, everyone needs to make sure they know this. The state of the art in 2011 is not perfection. Interpretability. Every genome has 3,000,000 variants and we only understand the clinical significance of a few thousand at most. Genomes in the hands of the untrained can cause panic. Having a genetic predisposition is not the same as having a disease. There are websites that will tell a consumer directly what the likelihood of their developing diabetes is based on their genome. This Is Very Bad. Neo-natal rights. What right, if any, does an unborn child have after the parents have diagnosed that it has a rare genetic disorder in the womb? Privacy. Who gets my genome and what can they use it for? Insurance. Can I be denied Life Insurance, Hazard Insurance, or indeed, even Medical Insurance based on genetic pre-disposition? See GINA. Politics. Genomes as a political weapon? (Mine is better than yours, etc.) The "Incidentaloma": what ethical obligation, if any, does the medical practitioner have to inform a patient about incidental findings? Today if you get an MRI for a herniated disc and they find a spot on your kidney, the radiologist has to inform. Well, if I have cancer and my genome is sequenced, does the clinical geneticist have to tell me that they noticed I am a carrier for Parkinson's? What if I didn't want to know? Major implications for my sister too - she didn't ask for any of this but she shares half of my genome. -Richard Resnick
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Richard Resnick
Posted almost 4 years ago
Richard Resnick: Welcome to the genomic revolution
Kristen, I don't think it's great that we have genetically modified food, although the genetic modifications simply make different proteins which are all ultimately torn up into amino acids in your gut regardless. I think it stinks - there are plenty of risks involved. Most often genetically engineered foods are made to be tolerant of drought, or of flood, or of saline, etc., but some of the biggest money makers are tolerant of proprietary patented pesticides which make tons of cash for the Agbio company in question. A fierce liberal, I rather hate all of this. Nevertheless - the food production capacity of the planet is the question. I am all for permaculture, local food, and the organic movement. But they don't change the worldwide food production capacity. The only real way to solve this is by growing more food with technology or by having fewer babies and approaching a fixed population. Far less popular politically. By doing nothing, we also make a choice. Society often passes the buck to future generations and population increase is a very large buck to pass. Until there is another solution, I'd rather make sure the people who live on the planet don't starve. Thanks for your comment, I'm certain we'll hear more of the same on this board, and I don't at all disagree with the sentiment. Show me a practical alternative and I'll follow you anywhere. Thanks for watching the talk. Yours, Richard Resnick