Though the cost of whole-genome sequencing is falling dramatically, the University of Alberta's Timothy Caulfield writes in the Globe and Mail that having people's full genome sequences might not have as great an effect on their health as has been indicated. "The relationship between our genome and disease is far more complicated than originally anticipated. Indeed, the more we learn about the human genome, the less we seem to know," he writes.
Caulfield points out that many findings from people's genomes, with the exception of rare, single-gene diseases, aren't predictive, especially for common diseases. Oftentimes, he adds, nothing can be done with the information that is gleaned as pharmacogenetic efforts are moving at a slower pace.
"For more than two decades, we've been told that we're in the midst of a genetic revolution. I'm still waiting," he says. "Meantime, if we really want to revolutionize our health, we should all put down the gene sequencers, fries and pop, pick up an apple and go for a brisk walk."