"It's essential for anyone who cares about medical research and health care to begin thinking about the world five years from now -- not just the world today. Steps should be taken to leverage this movement -- to allocate our capital, both financial and intellectual, for maximum impact in the drive toward cures."
--Katie Hood, CEO of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). Hood's words are a rallying cry for anyone who believes they may be susceptible to disease, especially in the case of genetic predispositions.
Yesterday Google co-founder Sergey Brin wrote on his personal blog that he has a mutation of the LRRK2 gene that increases his chances of having Parkinson's disease. Brin's mother has Parkinson's and also has the mutation. Actually, there are few instances where the disease is inherited; this mutuation happens to be responsible for some of those rare cases. Brin is already a donor to MJFF and will likely continue to give in light of this knowledge.
Brin learned about his predispostion through a personal genome analysis conducted by 23andme, the genetic mapping company recently launched by his wife, Anne Wojcicki. Read Pattie's post about 23andme's splashy spit party in NYC earlier this month. - Jessica Shambora