9/21/2007

As Personal Genomics Stands Poised to Go Mainstream, Researchers Urge Caution

In an article published in the upcoming issue of Science, University of Alberta researcher Tim Caulfield and co-authors highlight the need to proceed with caution when it comes to personal genomics projects that represent research milestones but are also fraught with ethical, social and clinical implications.

Scientists predict that within five years DNA sequencing technologies will be affordable enough that personal genomics will be integrated into routine clinical care. Companies are responding by offering their services for ancestry tracing, forensics, nutritional advice and reproductive assistance. It won’t be long before companies are able to offer Facebook-like social networking services centred around our genomes.

Caulfield and his colleagues pose these questions and warn that the routine generation of individual genome sequences will pose challenges to our health-care system. They argue that only clinically meaningful genomic test results should be integrated into medical decision-making—however, this will require clear standards, multidisciplinary collaboration and careful consideration of the ethical, social and clinical implications.


Newswise Medical News | As Personal Genomics Stands Poised to Go Mainstream, Researchers Urge Caution

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