This section contains information on the inherited aspect of human existence, in a word: genes. Reducing the billions of man-hours of labour carried out by countless scientists and students in the thousands of research laboratories in the world to a single word is obviously a gross oversimplification, but genes are a central pillar of this project.
Current estimates put the number of genes in the human genome at about 23,000. The bulk of the material in this section are definitions of genes. Each gene entry includes the gene’s aliases/synonyms, a paragraph or two of information on what the gene does, diseases specifically caused by or associated with defects of the gene, if known, and usually two hot links to a genes database (http://www.genecards.org) or protein database (http://www.uniprot.org) so the reader can get more information with a minimal effort.
Molecular medicine is an evolving field with a rich vocabulary based on both cellular and mitochondrial genes and proteins, cell biology, protein complexes, genomics and other -omics, genetics and genetic engineering. The Modern Medical Dictionary (MMD) database is a work in progress. Thusfar, the MMD has over 8,000 gene definitions. By late summer (2017), we will release a subdatabase containing all 8,000* genes which, we believe, will be of some use to the reader. Until all 20,000+ genes are in, the major focus for expanding the MMD database will be on genes, not cell biology, not genomics, not genetic engineering…genes. Work on the other subsections of Molecular medicine will take a back seat until most or all of the genes have been defined and an expanded versions of the subdatabase released.
*8,212 to be exact. To put this number in perspective, the most current (32nd edition, 2012) of the Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary has information on 57 (fifty-seven) genes. That number would be 67, if one counts the aliases and synonyms as separate entries—if we included the aliases and synonyms in the count, we’d have 141,000 entries.