This television documentary tells a highly controversial story. It started with the hunt for MS-genes, but this research project became more and more comprehensive. The genetic factors behind illnesses such as cerebral infarction, Alzheimer, several types of cancer, and schizophrenia are also being investigated. Iceland has had little immigration during the last thousand years and Icelanders have always kept an accurate genealogical account. One also has access to health records as far back as 1915. This, together with DNA analyses, provides a unique foundation for tracking-down the genes that are responsible for causing disease. But many feel that the researchers have exploited them.

Decoding the Icelanders received an international prize at the Teleciencia, in Portugal in 2002, a festival for science programmes made specifically for television.

The programme has been shown on NRK1 and was sold to several foreign television stations.

Programme length: 52 min.