Thursday, June 07, 2007

Scientists unlock genetic secrets of diseases afflicting millions

A triumph for modern medicine — but unfortunately also yet more reason for employers, insurers, NHS accountants, girlfriends/boyfriends and doubtless others to be interested in your DNA:

By studying the DNA from 17,000 people, the 50 research groups identified 24 new genetic links for bipolar disorder, Crohn's disease, heart disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure, tripling the number of genes already associated with them.

DNA-assisted medical treatment is going to present a real challenge to those who value their medical privacy. In ten years, would you (even if given the choice) be willing to totally opt out of having the NHS digitally store your DNA if it could have a dramatically disadvantageous impact on your health?

1 comment:

medical privacy said...

There is a story on the BBC about the results being shared with insurance companies. So caled 'ethical experts' say that the results should be available the same way the rest of yoyr records are. In other words tell the insurance company everything you have ever sought help for AND share your genetic data.

This means they will not only know about that thrush, UTI or counciling but that also you have a gene that means there is a possiblity that you could develop Bipolar disorder (manic depression)