Yeah, right. That?s the assessment on the just-published hapmap papers from a headline writer at NorthJersey.com, the Web site for several newspapers in the region. And the headline writer is not alone; the story that follows is pretty uncritical too.This reflexive applause?and there were other enthusiastic media reports about this latest analysis of the human genome--generates ridiculous expectations of immediate cures. That?s bad news for scientists who can?t possibly meet them. It?s lousy for the reputation of science journalism too. The reader gets no hint that there are many questions about how useful a hapmap approach will be for illuminating complex disorders?or how long it will take for hapmapping to affect clinical practice.The perfect antidote to this unsound optimism is supplied by the hapmappers themselves. Simply consult paragraph 3 of the main paper?s Conclusions section. No doubt few will read it, and even fewer will tape a photocopy above...
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