ConSequences: Some implications of DNA sequencing technology
Public event 08.03.2012
SpeakersRobert Cook-DeeganDirector, IGSP Center for Genome Ethics, Law & Policy, Duke Universityhttp://www.genome.duke.edu/directory/faculty/cook-deegan/
Organised byESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum
VenueAnatomy lecture theatre - www.anatomy.mvm.ed.ac.uk/museum/explore-virtual.phpSchool of Biomedical SciencesThe University of Edinburgh
DNA sequence information seems destined to be ubiquitous and pervasive. This is largely attributable to two factors: (1) DNA sequence information can inform decisions about living things, including ourselves, in many contexts including but not restricted to health; and (2) the cost of producing sequence information has dropped from £billions per genome to £thousands per genome, and continues to fall. The compounding effects of cheaper and faster computing technology led to wondrous new possibilities such as the Internet and mobile communication; but also cyberstalking, cyberbullying, cyberporn, identity theft, and loss of privacy.
Will DNA sequencing technology be similarly disruptive? Debate to date has focused on medical uses of genomic data. Use of genomic data in clinical care and wellness will indeed become more extensive, but other uses may be at least as important. The path that the nascent technology takes is exquisitely sensitive to public policy, country-by-country, but also heavily influenced by commercial strategies with global reach. Both rules and infrastructure are being constructed, and getting it right will matter.