As a medical scientists we can attest to the substantial costs involved in collecting large amounts of high-quality data; Sergey’s attempt to develop large-scal
e datasets in his quest for a cure, at a comparatively low price, will be a boon to science. However, perhaps Parkinson’s disease is not the correct place to beta-test this new methodology for collecting large amounts of data.
Notwithstanding the obvious benefits to society, Sergey’s large-scale survey type of methodology might be better deployed initially on more innocuous ailments, such as headaches or the common cold. These and other less severe maladies have fewer external costs and repercussions: they do not require genetic counseling, obtaining informed consent is more straightforward, and the privacy issues are not as serious.
Dov Greenbaum, JD MPhil PhD
Mark Gerstein, PhD
Unpublished letter in response to:
“Sergey Brin’s Search for a Parkinson’s Cure”
BY Thomas Goetz
Published June 22, 2010