One of our habits/traditions in England has been weekend papers, read in bed (with tea and coffee and cigarettes for a healthy start to the day). Previously we’ve had these delivered but now that delivery costs more than the papers themselves we’ve started going to fetch them. I enjoy a chuckle at Clarkson, read some of the politics, skip over the celebrity stuff then Caroline removes the puzzle pages which we take off to Crete. This morning, out of all the articles about the economy, Europe, whatever, the one that really caught my attention was a small column quite a number of pages in. It was the most important article there and it was about this:
Regulators yesterday approved the first therapy in the western world that can correct errors in a person’s genetic code.
Europe has approved Glybera to be used against a rare inherited disorder which disrupts fat production in the body.
The treatment uses a virus to counteract LPLD, lipoprotein lipase deficiency, which can led to acute inflammation of the pancreas.
I can remember when this was confined to science fiction and the most speculative science articles about what it might be possible to do (Remember that chat between Roy and Tyrell in Bladerunner?). I can remember when this was a future possibility but maybe in ten or fifteen years if massive hurdles could be leapt. This is about changing something as ineluctable as fate: genetic predestination; the hand of cards you were dealt with in the womb and could never change.