A discussion on genetic privacy

Feb 26, 2014

Adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine (abbreviated ATCG) are the four nucleotide bases that make up DNA.
Credit Jane Ades, NHGRI
It cost billions of dollars and took more than a decade to sequence the first human genome. That was more than ten years ago.

Our understanding of human genetics has advanced considerably since then, and these days anybody can find out a lot about their genetic make-up just by sending in a sample of their DNA in the mail. But with our genetic information becoming increasingly easier to access, what does that mean for genetic privacy?

Washington University’s Laura Jean Bierut and the University of Chicago’s Lainie Friedman Ross have strong opinions on the subject. They participated in a panel discussion on genetic privacy at Washington University’s Brown School Tuesday. Illinois Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra spoke with them beforehand, and has this report.