BRIEFING: Unravelling your genome

Your genome – the billions of bits of DNA code that make up the instructions needed to make you who you are – is not quite the mystery it once was.

The technology required to sequence your genome is now more accessible than ever. Already companies are offering sequencing services for private citizens. But what can this data tell you – or your insurance provider, the courts or a snooping neighbour – about your health?

The Science Media Centre held a media briefing to outline the current state of genomics and personalised medicine in New Zealand, and explore the legal and ethical implications of current and future sequencing technologies.

Unravelling your genome – Science Media Centre (NZ) Briefing from Science Media Centre NZ on Vimeo.


  • Dr Tony Lough, Chief Executive of New Zealand Genomics Limited, heads New Zealand’s leading genomics infrastructure partnered with several CRIs and Universities. He outlines about how DNA sequencing technology has advanced over the last decade, where New Zealand is at, and what the future may hold.
  • Assoc Prof Cristin Print, University of Auckland, is a medical scientist with a background in bioinformatics, and discusses what genomic data can and cannot (yet) tell us about our health.
  • Prof Mark Henagan, Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Otago, is the Principal Investigator for the NZ Law Foundation funded Human Genome Research Project. He explores the ethical, legal and public policy considerations of advances in genetics.

Technology writer Richard McManus was also be on hand to discuss his consumer experience in getting his own genome sequenced through private company 23andMe.