The Icelandic gene-hunting firm deCODE genetics, which emerged last week from bankruptcy, has long led in detecting SNPs associated with common disease. Dr. Kari Stefansson, the company’s founder and research director, agreed that whole genome sequencing would “give us a lot of extremely exciting data.” But he disputed Dr. Goldstein’s view that rare variants carried most of the missing heritability. Both deCODE genetics and scientists at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., have sequenced regions of the genome surrounding SNPs in search of rare variants, but have found very few, Dr. Stefansson said.
“We can speculate till we are blue in our faces,” he said, “but the fact of the matter is that there is no substitute for data.”
It would have been nice to get a quote from someone whose recent career hasn’t been as checkered as Stefansson. The issue of missing heritability is going to be interesting in the near future….