Among the personalities and pioneering research on the Top 100 stories of 2010 list in the latest Discover magazine issue is Stanford law professor Hank Greely, JD, for his efforts to balance the new scientific possibilities and potential pitfalls of consumer genetic testing.
In the Q&A, Greely discusses UC Berkeley's proposal to genetically test incoming freshman, the Havasupai Indians' lawsuit to retrieve members' genetic samples, using family forensic DNA analysis to solve crimes and promising developments in genetic testing. When asked about the most important turn of events this year in the arena of genetic law and ethics, he says:
In May Walgreens announced that it planned to sell genetic tests in its stores. The fda issued a warning letter to the test manufacturer in response, saying that such a product would require FDA approval, and then Walgreens pulled out. Congress also held hearings on genetic testing, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report that was pretty damning to the direct-to-consumer industry. They sent the same DNA to a bunch of different companies and got some very inconsistent results. To me, federal involvement was the big story. Consumer genetic testing is probably going to get more regulated, and we saw that starting around the middle of the year. I think that’s a good thing.
Previously: Stanford legal expert discusses promise and pitfalls of genetic testing, Over-the-counter genetic tests are a bad idea, Stanford expert says and Stanford's Hank Greely responds to reporter's DNA dilemma