23andMe made a big splash at last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Hundreds of conference attendees took us up on our offer of free genotyping, and on Friday 23andMe co-founder Linda Avey participated in a panel discussion with three of the world’s most eminent geneticists about the implications of giving people access to their own genetic information.
After the jump, see video of what Linda, Harvard University genetics professor George Church, National Human Genome Research Institute director Francis Collins and Craig Venter, president of the J. Craig Venter Institute, had to say about the advent of personal genomics and where it is heading.
Francis Collins reminded the audience that much more research needs be done before personal genetic information becomes medically useful, especially with regard to how genes are related to phenotypes (that’s geneticist-speak for people and their various individual traits and characteristics):
George Church emphasized the need for training of physicians and other medical professionals:
Craig Venter, who published his own complete DNA sequence in September, talked about the potential implications of knowing your own genetics:
And Linda spoke about the role that Web 2.0 can play in allowing people to share their genetic information for the benefit of others: