Drugs By Design

Thanks to genetics, the pharmaceutical industry is exploding with new ideas

It is the year 2025, and some things haven't changed. The sky is still blue. The Dow is poised to set another record. And Jose Rodriguez (Michigan State, class of '04) has just learned that he has colon cancer. But he's not too concerned. Thanks to the genetic revolution that swept over the pharmaceutical industry 30 years earlier, scientists have developed a variety of anticancer drugs that work far better, and with fewer side effects, than the old poison-and-burn treatments of the late 20th century.

The oncologist takes a few cells from Jose's tumor and places them on a microchip. Within...

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