Have advanced research technologies made real impact on respiratory medicine?
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Tremendous sophistication in our ability to detect, measure and manipulate the genes and proteins involved in lung disease has provided unique insights to the pathobiology of a number of lung disorders affecting humans today. Gene array analysis and genetic manipulation of animals have helped to identify novel pathways and their potential role in disease initiation and progression. Proteomics is a relatively novel tool in molecular research in respiratory medicine. Silencing gene expression by using small interfering RNA may, sooner than later, become part of novel therapies. Despite the excitement, to date, there has been little direct impact on therapeutic interventions available to clinicians. However, the rapidity with which these early data have accumulated, and the expected advances in bioinformatics and systems biology, should bring forward tangible therapeutic benefits for many acute and chronic lung diseases within the next ten years.
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