Leif Andersson on Personal Genome Sequencing
  Leif Andersson     Biography    
Recorded: 08 May 2008

I think it’s—I mean I’m sure that all the thing we learn is—will give opportunities to the future, and I’m not that interested in providing a risk profile. That you have 10% risk, increased risk of diabetes, for instance, because I think there’s some simple rules to advise people. That you for diabetes for instance, I mean you could move more and eat less. That is a—which is good. And, but I think for the future I think certainly it will help us to provide appropriate treatment for different disease, but my personal view is that these should be handled by the doctors and by the hospitals, rather than by the private companies. Because it’s difficult for a layperson to interpret this [?], because it’s really important to understand that most of the diseases we get is a very complex interaction between the genes and the environmental factors. It’s not easy to predict what is the risk to get cancer or diabetes.

I think we are not at that stage yet, so I think future will tell how complex these interactions are. Whether we will be able to give really good advice to people. So I think that is for the future. Something I would like to say though, if you go back to the use—Because we learn about the genome and to human medicine is one of the applications, but if you think about agriculture you could see that there are some really major benefits in the future to learn more of the genome of domestic plants and of domestic animals is that we could improve production efficiency. And you could see in a situation today where there is starting to get shortage of food, this is a very important development for the future. Because there’s no better medicine than to have appropriate nutrition.

Leif Andersson is a professor in Functional Genomics at Uppsala University and guest professor in Molecular Animal Genetics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala.

His research group did pioneering work using domestic animals for genetic dissection of monogenic and multifactorial traits. Main research project includes genetic analysis of divergent intercrosses in chicken, horses and pigs. Andersson's group describe the genes and mutations affecting a certain trait and study the mechanism of the genes and regulatory elements affected by the mutations.