When we launched Genomes Unzipped three months ago, we promised a focus on the “budding industry of personal genomics.” Recent developments, however, have demonstrated that this emerging field is susceptible to critics who may be more focused on generating controversy than in engaging in a thoughtful discussion about the balance of risks and benefits in personal genomics. The University of California Berkeley’s short-lived proposal to provide a voluntary and educational genetic testing program for its incoming freshman class highlight this concern.
Over at the Genomics Law Report, in Getting Serious About Personal Genomics’ Risks, I review the Berkeley example and argue that we must carefully examine where and why we restrict the ability of individuals to participate in personal genomics. The failure to do so threatens not only the future of personal genomics but the autonomy of the individuals involved.
For more, please see the complete post at the Genomics Law Report.