Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

To Know or Not to Know? The Gene Testing Question

Two opposing views come to a head with genetic testing, the Economist writes: the right to know about risk of developing a genetic disease and the right to not know about that risk.

Exemplifying these views are two cases, one in the UK and one in Germany, both involving Huntington's disease. In the UK, a woman is suing a hospital for not telling her, while she was pregnant, that her father had Huntington's disease, the Economist adds, noting that the woman later learned she tested positive for the Huntington's mutation. While in Germany, it says a woman is suing a doctor who informed her that her ex-husband tested positive for Huntington's disease (telling her with her ex's permission) and that her children might have inherited it. "Both cases, then, test a legal grey area and their outcomes will be examined with interest by lawyers in other jurisdictions," the Economist notes.

"When the law falls behind technology, somebody often pays the price, and currently that somebody is doctors," it adds. "As these two cases demonstrate, they find themselves in an impossible predicament — damned if they do, damned if they don't."

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.