Genomics is More Than Research
During my routine scan through the news on GenomeWeb I encountered an interesting article from Christie Rizk Knowledge of Genome Can Both Simplify and Complicate Knowledge of Self. This article is about the book My Beautiful Genome from Lone Frank who is a scientific journalist with Ph.D. in neurobiology.
On the homepage of Lone Frank you can find a sneak peek and these 6 pages contain already so many insights into human thinking and facts about the genome, that you really start thinking about your genome. Would you really like to know, if you had a hereditary disease? On the other hand it might be an extremely happy moment in your life when you learn that you don’t have a specific gene variant that is present in one of your parent’s genome.
I totally agree that we need research on the genome, since we need to know more about genes and their impact on our lives. In your private life your personal genome can provide information whether there is increased risk for a selection of hereditary diseases. Despite that it is still your decision and responsibility whether and to what extent you like to work with your personal data, isn’t it?
Knowing one’s genome may however also a fatal decision. What, if you find out a predisposition for a disease that cannot be treated? This may even cause severe psychological problems . In this context it is frightening that some companies try to make money with dubious tests that have no scientific justification. What do you think?