Monday, June 1, 2009

Time off

We are going away for 10 days, and won't be posting as often as usual. Ken is giving a talk at the Colston Symposium on 'The New Genomics: Public Health, Social and Clinical Implications" at the University of Bristol in the UK, as part of their celebration of the 100th anniversary of the university. It's a meeting basically about what will be the consequences of the biobanks and DNA sequence data that are going to pour forth. What that is likely to mean is not that the idea of collecting such data will be on the table, but instead what it could mean. Whether deeper ethical issues than ones like confidentiality will be raised isn't clear, because most of the speakers are involved in the genetics research that is hungering for major sequence data resources.

Ken's talk will be about the question of whether 'complex' traits that have defied GWAS and other approaches--that is, that appear 'genetic' in various ways but for which only a fraction of cases have been given genetic explanations to date--are really that complex, or whether there might be other explanations. On balance, other factors may simplify the genetic basis of such traits, but they still appear to be elusively complex.

We'll try to post from there at least, and perhaps other occasions along the way.

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