Lauran Neergaard of Associated Press reports:
It sounds like a scene from a TV show: Someone sends a discarded coffee cup to a laboratory where the unwitting drinker’s DNA is decoded, predicting what diseases lurk in his or her future.
A presidential commission found that’s legally possible in about half the states — and says new protections to ensure the privacy of people’s genetic information are critical if the nation is to realize the enormous medical potential of gene-mapping.
Such whole genome sequencing costs too much now for that extreme coffee-cup scenario to be likely. But the report being released Thursday says the price is dropping so rapidly that the technology could become common in doctors’ offices very soon — and there are lots of ethical issues surrounding how, when and with whom the results may be shared.
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