Recorded: 31 May 2003
Well, there’s always a danger of misuse of information. I mean, that’s true of any new discovery or scientific advance in the wrong hands can be put to harmful uses. And so you’re basically asking what are some of the harmful uses that the availability of the genome sequence could result in, and there are issues regarding misuse of the DNA information for a particular individual by employers or insurers. I mean, these concerns have all been raised.
I mean, I think on the whole, you know, most people, and even most people in positions to make use of the information for good or ill, will make use of it for good. And so I think it’s a huge advance for mankind.
Philip Green is a professor of genome sciences, an adjunct professor of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Washington, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and was recently elected into the National Academy of Sciences.
Green designs software packages which aid in making genetic maps and identifying genes within the genome. He is concerned with constructing computational tools to understand cell functioning at a molecular level. Green has created the program Phred, which manages the data generated by the Human Genome Project and which is being used to help determine the most common variations in human DNA. Green’s laboratory is working to construct a gene-annotated genome sequence. His lab has modified the number of genes thought to be in the human genome—it is substantially fewer than had been previously believed.
Green spoke at the 68th Cold Spring Harbor Symposium focused on the Genome of Homo Sapiens.