We have lots of data on which genes you have been using BioGPS to learn more about, and in the coming months we are going to be sharing some of these insights with you. We are launching a series we’re calling “Gene of the Week“, where we’ll give you a glimpse into the genes that our users are interested in. How will it work? Each week, we’ll hand pick a gene from recently popular genes in the BioGPS traffic logs and we’ll be drilling into what makes them interesting, putting them into the context of recent and historical research. We are aiming for unique genes — genes that many us have never heard of, but are timely and important in some area of genomic research.
Armed with leeches, scalpels, and scarificators, medical practitioners (and their patients) once trusted bloodletting as a valid, sensible remedy for common ailments. In the time before “germs” existed, physicians thought that disease derived from an imbalance of certain bodily fluids—including blood. Today, belief in this theory of “body humors”, and the consequent use of bloodletting as a restorative cure-all (Got a headache? Put a leech on it!), is largely dismissed as an ill-conceived, archaic practice. Even so, early doctors weren’t totally wrong; bloodletting is still considered a legitimate medical treatment for specific conditions—most notably, hemochromatosis.