IIRC, at the December NIH/CDC meeting Francis Collins suggested that the way to get to the bottom of the missing heritability, the common disease common variant hypothesis, gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, etc. etc. is to run a population-wide, 20-year longitudinal study in which genome-wide data and detailed environmental and behavioral minutiae were tracked for 100,000 participants.
The follow-up commenters starting with John Ioannidis each upped the sample size by an order of magnitude, until someone suggested that the entire U.S. population be sequenced, which it was then realized would require universal health care.
At that point, the meeting ended.
Maybe you could start with Iceland, following in DeCode's footprints :-)
the whole US population (or even the entire world's population) might not be large enough to capture the missing heritability
the string theory of genetics!
And we'll learn that every gene influences every biological process. Then what?
[edited for clarity - DM]
The Genetics & Public Policy Center has received funding to study public attitudes toward a large, U.S. population-based study of genes and environment.
"A large, population-based study likely would involve the participation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. volunteers, who would be followed for a period of many years to ascertain and quantify the major environmental and genetic contributors to common illnesses."
What's interesting to me is that the numbers that Collins started out with sound very much like what we would expect to see if the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act (GPMA), which had Obama as its sponsor in the Senate in 2006 and 2007, and was introduced in the House in 2008, is ever passed. With Collins at NIH and Obama in the White House, there's a real possibility that the GPMA, or something like it, will finally get off of the crowd.
If it requires 3000 million years of person observation to detect it aint very important.