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Crowdfunded searches for medical miracles

Bloomberg BusinessWeek, August 9, 2012

Mainstream medicine hasn't focused its resources on the 7,000 rare diseases that have baffled doctors for decades and afflict a combined 350 million people worldwide. Jimmy Lin, a genomics researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine, believes answers may lie in their genes. To find out, he and more than a dozen other young scientists and researchers created the Rare Genomics Institute, a nonprofit that leverages falling DNA sequencing costs and rising online giving to support medical research. On the institute's website, children with mysterious illnesses can solicit the $7,500 needed to sequence their genes and their parents' in search of new therapies.