Welcome to Gene Scene!
With this newsletter, we hope to connect and reconnect the SLC genetic counseling community. We invite you to enjoy the first edition of our biannual publication as we share our experiences and update you on life at Sarah Lawrence. Additionally, we would like to hear about what you are doing personally and professionally, and we welcome any ideas or suggestions you may have. We see this project as a way to connect the diverse experiences of our graduates, and hope that this newsletter will evolve over time, and reflect our multifaceted community.
Volume 6, Issue 1: Winter 2013
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Genetics and the Year in Review: My Top Ten Stories of 2012
By Laura Hercher, Class of 2001
In casual conversation, the phrase “it’s genetic” can mean any number of things. It can serve as an excuse ("don’t blame me, blame my parents!") or a humblebrag ("it’s a gift; I take no credit."). But most often, when people say “it’s genetic,” what they imply is: "that’s the way it is and there is nothing to be done about it."
One promise of the Human Genome Project was to give us the means to fight back against this inevitability of genes, through prevention, mitigation and cure. The first ten years post-HGP were full of revelation and technical achievement, and yet fell far short of that goal: for all that we learned, the lives of patients with genetic disease were essentially unchanged. Now, news on a multitude of fronts brings the tantalizing prospect of progress. Will we remember 2012 as the year when genetics fundamentally changed clinical medicine? Probably not. But the signs are there: treatments popping up like crocuses in the snow, new tests making their way from research only into the clinical realm, beta versions of technology that can—and will—do better. And the other signs, too: a growing intransigence from those who fear where these changes will take us, and a popular interest in testing that often takes the form of overestimating the scope and specificity of what genetics can tell us. Progress—and pushback—is the story of 2012. | Read the full issue»