The draft human genome sequence (about 3 billion base pairs) was completed in 2001. Humans have fewer protein-coding genes than expected, and most of these are highly conserved among animals. Humans and other complex organisms produce massive amounts of non-coding RNAs, which may form another level of genetic output that controls differentiation and development. Aside from classical monogenic diseases and other differences caused by mutations and polymorphisms in protein-coding genes, much of the variation between individuals, including that which may affect our predispositions to common diseases, is probably due to differences in the non-coding regions of the genome (ie, the control architecture of the system). Within 10 years we can expect to see: increased penetration of DNA diagnostic tests to assess risk of disease, to diagnose pathogens, to determine the best treatment regimens, and for individual identification; a range of new pharmaceuticals as well as new gene and cell therapies to repair damage, to optimise health and to minimise future disease risk; and medicine become increasingly personalised, with the knowledge of individual genetic make-up and lifestyle influences.