Risks of sharing personal genetic information online need more study, Stanford bioethicists say

Test Tubes with Genetic InformationSTANFORD, Calif. — With just $399 and a bit of saliva in a cup, consumers can learn about their genetic risk for diseases from breast cancer to diabetes. Now, thanks to social networking sites set up by personal genomics companies, they can also share that information with family, friends and even strangers on the Internet.

Bonding over a similar genetic background sounds relatively harmless. But according to bioethicists from the Stanford University School of Medicine, sharing genetic information online raises a host of ethical questions.

"Genetic information is unique in that it’s not only relevant for the individuals who receive the information, but also for their family members, their children and even their children’s children," said Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD, senior research scholar at the school’s Center for Biomedical Ethics.

Read Original Article

Leave a Reply