BERLIN—Roughly a year after the human genome sequence was completed, scientists meeting at the opening of the Human Genome Meeting on Sunday (April 4) were reminded about the enormous gaps that remain in our understanding of our genetic makeup.

“We have the sequence of 100 species or so a click away on the Web… but how do we use that information? How can we address the complexity of disease background at the DNA level?” asked Leena Peltonen, from the University of Helsinki in Finland. “We shouldn't be unrealistically optimistic.”

“We are still not sure what is the best way to understand the function of the genome,” Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) President Yoshiyuki Sakaki told the opening session. Maynard Olson from the University of Washington, added, “The future of genomics is a really big topic.”

Olson said that future may be in peril unless the scientific establishment focuses on...

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