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May 25, 2017

Are Our Terrible Genetic Privacy Laws Hurting Science?

  • Government
  • Agency
  • Elected Body
  • Statute
  • Science
  • Genetics/Genomics

Gizmodo – As companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com help make genetic testing commonplace, you would think that we would become better at ensuring protections for the privacy of that data. Instead, multiple Congressional actions threaten to erode already-weak protections against genetic discrimination. But it’s not just a dystopian Gattaca future where citizens are discriminated against based on their genes that we need to be worried about—one researcher is concerned that our inadequate genetic privacy laws will stymy science.

“It’s inhibiting both clinical care and research,” Robert Green, a medical geneticist at Harvard Medical School, told Gizmodo.

Green’s work focuses on how genomic medicine impacts people’s health and behavior. One thing he’s particularly interested in is what makes people inclined to say yes to a genetic test. And he’s observed one particularly big reason why people seem to be saying no: fears of genetic discrimination.

Read more at Gizmodo.

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