The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative The Genomic Revolution: Implications for Treatment and Control of Infectious Disease—Working Group Summaries (2006)

The 2005 conference, "The Genomic Revolution: Implications for Treatment and Control of Infectious Disease," attracted scientists, engineers, and medical researchers to work on new interdisciplinary responses using genomics to treat and control infectious diseases. Eleven conference working groups gave the participants eight hours to develop new research approaches to problems in infectious disease using genomics. Among the challenges were designing a new device to detect viral and bacterial pathogens; how best to use $100 million to prevent a future pandemic flu outbreak; how to improve rapid response to an outbreak of disease and reduce the cost of diagnostic tests; and how to sequence an individual's genome for under $1,000. Representatives from public and private funding organizations, government, industry, and the science media also participated in the working groups. This book provides a summary of the conference working groups.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Not all microbes are harmful to humans.

  • Correct!

    Not all microbes are harmful to humans. In fact, many of them protect us, helping our bodies function properly and competing with harmful organisms in an eternal contest for habitable space in or on our bodies. Although the microorganisms that cause disease often receive more attention, most microorganisms do not cause illness.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Not all microbes are harmful to humans. In fact, many of them protect us, helping our bodies function properly and competing with harmful organisms in an eternal contest for habitable space in or on our bodies. Although the microorganisms that cause disease often receive more attention, most microorganisms do not cause illness.