Think about it for a moment. When Collins made dreamy forecasts about the benefits of human genome project in 1999 (check “A hypthetical case in 2010”), sequencing cost was the biggest hindrance for his forecast, not science. Now that sequencing cost has fallen by many orders of magnitude beyond what Collins anticipated, we find out that that the ‘science’ was never there.
You notice the same lack of scientific discoveries in another talk of the morning. It was the one from Anne Wojcicki of 23andme. Several tweets were made about finding association between genome sequence and those responding to spam emails (geez!), but no huge breakthroughs were reported.
The above failure does not mean all hopes are lost however. In the coming week, we will post an interview with a researcher, who pursued the right science and made an incredible contribution that will very likely lead to curing diseases. Small hint - he found our post - “A Must Read Book, If You Like to Understand Genomes” helpful in his work. In contrast, the failure of NHGRI is simply due to Collins and NHGRI following an incorrect model of how genomes work despite warnings from Ken Weiss and alike.