This Harvard scientist wants your DNA to wipe out inherited diseases – should you hand it over?
16th March 2019
Excerpt from article:
“…the combination of genetic data with clinical and lifestyle history adds up to a ‘very, very, very valuable data set’. So valuable, ‘You start to think, where could that data end up?’
Last year, Genomics England confirmed it had fought off multiple foreign hacker attacks; by comparison, worrying about what Facebook is doing with your friends list is small-fry.
There is also the danger that your genome may tell you something you never wanted to know. Middleton previously worked in the NHS as a genetic counsellor, helping families with the psychological repercussions when something such as dementia, Parkinson’s or cancer was revealed to be on the cards. ‘What does it mean to have an inherited predisposition to something really horrible, that could potentially kill you?’ she asks. And not just you – but those you love, who share many of the same genes.
Middleton notes a striking split in her research, between genetic scientists (who tend to be male), keen for everyone to embrace genomic testing with urgency; and genetic-health clinicians and counsellors (who tend to be female), saying, ‘No, I have to pick up the pieces in my clinic.’”