The reason for the lack of meaningful insights has a lot less to do with the number of genomes sequenced then the availability of meaningful insights in the genome itself. Simply put, despite the massive hope and even more massive hype, gene sequence alone is a mediocre at best diagnostic tool. It is even less useful as an indicator of behavior or predictor of future health. In the nature vs. nurture battle nature has lost, and it was not even close. As much as many have tried to equate the human being and computer with DNA sequence as equivalent to source code, it is now more clear than ever how poor an analogy that was. Don’t misunderstand me, genomics has had a huge impact on my own field of microbiology, and done the same for other scientific disciplines as well. However, despite these achievements it has failed in the one task where success was most hoped for, improving the human condition. More data (aka training sets for machine “learning” algorithms to chew on) will not make any difference, so the disposition of the sequence data is of little consequence to biology or humanity in general, except perhaps to insurance companies and the few persons who have diseases or conditions which are exclusively or primarily determined by sequences in a few specific genes. This is most likely somewhere between 0.1%-1% of all people. I am happy for that tiny minority and a little bit disappointed that genomics has had so little overall impact. That said I am comforted by the fact that we are so much more complex then the sum of our genetic sequences, and in that way so much superior to any computer or so called “artificial intelligence” and will remain that way for the foreseeable future.

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