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Genomics From Scratch to the Clinic

Eric Green, the director of the National Human Genomics Research Institute, tells Wired that when the Human Genome Project began, he didn't think he'd live to see genomics become part of everyday healthcare.

As Wired notes, the Human Genome Project kicked off 30 years ago last October, leading to the sequencing of the human genome, but it adds that while strides have been made in incorporating genomics in clinical care, it's not fully there yet. Green tells Wired that genomics has been more readily adopted in cancer care and in prenatal settings, and will be harder to implement to prevent common diseases where people might need to make behavioral changes.

Further, Green adds more data is needed to understand what genetic variations mean in the context of a healthy person. He notes that is why he has yet to have his genome sequenced. "[W]e have the technical ability to generate the sequence, and a very good quality one at that," he tells Wired. "But then there's this massive gap between having the data in front of us and knowing what it all means."

He adds that efforts to that end are ongoing, but are "likely going to be measured more in decades than in years."