The most surprising bit of information that I learned from Church's interview was regarding the psychology and ethics of gene therapy. Church outlines the thought process that many people may not want to know if they have a certain gene or allele that lends them to greater risk to an incurable disease, but he also brings up an important point that these genes could also affect people much farther in the future. Additionally, it will help scientists find cures. There are different reasons for why one may want to learn these things, even if it causes them more stress in their own life. Still though, Church, as a geneticist himself, would want as much data as he could gather regarding the genes of different humans, to analyze big data sets and hopefully form conclusions. The issue of privacy is greatly at play here as well. People may not want to give a sequencing provider their genome for privacy reasons. It is farfetched for sure but if someone has your entire sequence of genes they could in theory clone you or something of the sort. Even if they do not do anything with your genome, the thought of someone else knowing it may not sit well with many people.
Apart from asking George questions about his efforts to revive the woolly mammoth (https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/13/world/woolly-mammoth-resurrect-deextinction-scn/index.html) , I would ask him about how the advent of AI will affect genomics. How will AI be able to synthesize data and predict genes and traits within embryos. How will these powerful machines work their way into the field of genomics and affect life.
I completely agree with what you're saying, Harry. I also found the part about psychology and ethics of gene therapy very interesting. I personally wouldn't want to give a sequencing provider my genome. I'm the type of person who doesn't want to know about my genome, because I like to live based on how I manage my environment—which was another dichotomy that George Church brought up. It was interesting to me that so many people consented to having their genomes made public via the Personal Genome Project. I also thought it was interesting that someone had to get a 100% on the test in order to participate, because it takes a very specific type of person to consent to knowing everything about their genome. I also am really interested in Church's wooly mammoth research! Thanks for bringing it up!