Editor's Note: This Opinion is adapted from remarks prepared for a hearing of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, chaired at the time by Sen. James Jeffords, then a Republican, now an Independent, of Vermont.
I had the privilege to speak to a recent Senate committee panel about the unprecedented research opportunities in the medical and health sciences. These opportunities are unprecedented because of the advances in cell and molecular biology, in information and computational sciences, in molecular and physiological imaging, and in genomics that have occurred in the last 20 years. A seminal advance well known to all of you occurred only a few months ago. That is, for the first time in human history, we know the location and sequence of all of the genes in the human genome.

The opportunities of which I speak are the result of past public and private investments in...

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