Finland to sequence 10% of its population in 6 years

As you may have heard, Finland is starting a major genomics initiative. They’re going to try and sequence 500,000 Finns over the next 6 years. Obviously, these are goals, and sometimes efforts fall short. But sequencing is only going to get cheaper. I think they’ll get it done.

After the UK Biobank I’m starting to wonder if European countries with robust socialized medical sectors are really going to start shining in this big data + medicine space because of their ability to ramp up scale and coordination very fast. In the late 2000s, a few friends predicted this might happen, and that seems right.

And it is true because of their low effective population size and therefore genetic homogeneity sequencing and analyzing Finns is useful. Also, it might be some sort of bias in the discovery, but they do seem to have a lot of recessive diseases. But ultimately I’m hoping a non-European nation besides an East Asian can get it together with a similar effort so we get some more genomic diversity into the system. The Gulf states are my bet, as they have major issues with recessive diseases and some money to pump into the system.

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