ethics

If Your Doctor Could Tell You That You'll Get Breast Cancer, Would You Want to Know?

Counsyl, a Silicon Valley company that screens prospective parents for their risk of passing on rare inherited diseases, has expanded its genetic testing service to assess your inherited risks for breast, ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.  The expanded testing, which arrived on the heels of $28 million in new funding raised from Goldman Sachs and others, comes in the midst…

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Genes Without Patents.

As Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan questioned Myriad Genetics’ attorney about patenting genes, Chris Hansen rejoiced. The attorney said that yes, genes should be patentable. But it was only under the pressure of further questions that he said that chromosomes, too, should be patentable, and — more reluctantly still — organs such as kidneys. “It was all I could do…

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Researchers to Explore Promise, Risks of Sequencing Newborns' DNA

U.S. geneticists last week began examining the promise and risks of sequencing every newborn’s genome. DNA sequencing could improve the accuracy of state newborn screening programs that test babies’ blood for biochemical markers for several dozen rare disorders. And genome testing could potentially look for all 7000 or so diseases caused by defects in single genes. But newborn genome testing…

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Genetic screening: Every newborn a patient

ISG faculty Dr. Stefan Timmermans describes how “giving parents a torrent of information about a child’s genetic disease risk will profoundly change the experience of bringing a new life into the world”.   He writes, “Opening up newborn screening for genetics has mostly been viewed as an issue of technological capacity: Is the technology sufficiently fast and reliable to make…

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European Society of Human Genetics Urges Caution Over Use of New Genetic Sequencing Techniques

The use of genome-wide analysis (GWA), where the entirety of an individual’s DNA is examined to look for the genomic mutations or variants which can cause health problems is a massively useful technology for diagnosing disease. However, it can also pose major ethical problems if used incorrectly, say new recommendations from the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) published on…

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