Ars on your lunch break: Robert Green on what darkness lurks in our DNA
This week we’re serializing yet another episode of the After On Podcast here on Ars. The broader series is built around deep-dive interviews with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists and tends to be very tech- and science-heavy. You can access the excerpts on Ars via an embedded audio player or by reading accompanying transcripts (both of which are below).
My guest this week is medical geneticist Robert Green, and our topic is the promise and peril that could come from reading your full genome. The cost of full-genome sequencing is falling so quickly and the actionable insights it can reveal are growing fast enough that this data will eventually be as widely collected as cholesterol levels (perhaps within a decade or so).
This will divulge the precise contents of your 20,000-ish genes to you and your doctor. Since some human genes literally have thousands of known mutations, that’s a lot of data—and on the day you first receive it, we still won't know how to interpret the crushing majority of it.