Dr. Francis Collins, considered to be the father of the human genome, told the Brazilian press that there had been an "excess of optimism" with regard to the advances in DNA studies, but he added that the "genomic" revolution is under way.
"There may have been some excessively optimistic predictions about the speed with which the genome information would transform the practice of medicine. I tried not to make those predictions," the American physician and researcher told the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper's online edition.
Collins, however, said that there had been advances that contributed to reducing the number of some kinds of congenital cancers.
"The project, certainly, caused a noteworthy revolution in biomedical research. It's unquestionable. But the revolution in practice we knew would take more time. It's one thing to have three billion letters in the DNA code and another thing to try and understand and discover how their differences can affect health," Collins said.
The president of the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, who in June 2000 presented - along with then-U.S. President Bill Clinton - the fully-deciphered human genome, visited Brazil last week to participate, among other activities, in the Molecular Biology Congress in Foz de Iguaçu, in Brazil's Parana state.
Collins also signed a cooperation agreement between the NIH, which has a budget of $30.1 billion for medical research, and the research support foundation of Sao Paulo state, or Fapesp. EFE