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DNA CHIPS AND THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY INTRODUCTION When future historians look back on the greatest scientific advancements of the 20th century they will without a doubt focus on only three events the Apollo Moon landing the invention of the microprocessor and possibly the greatest scientific endeavor yet genomics the science of identifying genes and how they work in humans It is possibly not a total coincidence then that two of this centuries greatest advancements have grown out of the same cradle of technology Silicon Valley The first advancement was the invention of the microprocessor and the second was the invention of the DNA chip also called the DNA array or biochip These DNA chips are the newest tools being used in the study of genomics DNA chips are changing the way researchers analyze the genetic make-up of cells and will soon render traditional pharmaceutical research obsolete This allows for whole new generations of drugs that will be made to combat diseases by effecting changes in a their specific genetic design PROBLEM STATEMENT Currently the pharmaceutical industry is a very high risk industry in which fewer than one in ten promising drug products ever makes it through the testing phase and onto the shelves at the local pharmacy The effect is that the production of a new drug is almost like a guessing game that may or may not produce any profit A Company may have a long list of chemicals that could make possible drugs to treat a specific affliction but by the time they narrow the list down and do the necessary research and testing they may have already spent possibly millions of dollars In the end they may not even be left with a viable drug to market BACKGROUND This section is designed to educate the reader on some of the background information needed to understand the nature of DNA chips as well as to
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