Purpose of the Human Genome Project, Ewan Birney

Interviewee: Ewan Birney. Purpose of the Human Genome Project.

Well they're using it for, for all sorts of things and, and the real thing is that the Genome Project revolutionizes the way you think about biological research. It allows you to ask a completely different question. Rather than saying "I'm looking at this thing, you know, sort of blue eyes, I wonder what makes eyes blue?" You can turn around and you can say "that's really interesting, I know this gene is involved in blue eyes, but here's a gene that looks just the same, right, I wonder what that does?" And it allows you to really look at everything the other way around. And there's things which are just incredible, it changes somebody's research that used to take, say, five years and maybe ten or twelve people in a lab for five years, it makes it three months, or even less. And that speeding up of research, of all medical research realistically, is just going to be incredible. I have no idea really how it changes things in five years' time or ten years' time, but I know that it just means we can do a lot more science a lot faster, and ask a lot more interesting questions, as opposed to sort of having to slog it out in the lab.

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