The world of personalised medicine is moving at break- neck speed, with tools for genome sequencing taking the top five
slots in The Scientist‘s Top 10 Innovations this year - among them the first
next-generational sequencing tool to
attain the ‘thousand-dollar genome’.
Genetic testing, too, is becoming a
commodity of sorts, with direct-to-
consumer (DTC) genetic tests now
available to buy at a fraction of
the cost of earlier models.
The case of 23andMe – whose
by the US
year for being ‘in violation
of regulatory codes‘ and was
launched in November in the
UK market at £125 a pop – has,
of course, cast the issue very much
into the spotlight, bringing it a lot
closer to home.
Here, we speak to two people
with very different views on
the subject: Professor Martina
Cornel from the European
Society for Human Genetics,
makes a plea for caution and
tighter regulation, whereas
bioethics specialist Dr Nita
Farahany from Duke University
in the US argues that the notion
of our ‘cognitive liberty‘ should be
safeguarded at all costs.
By Tonya Stewart