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Play Looks into Research Ethics

A new off-Broadway play examines the ethics of genetic research in a manner the New York Times calls "thoughtful and engrossing."

The play, 'Informed Consent,' tells the story of a research scientist, Jillian, who becomes embroiled in controversy after collecting DNA samples from a Native American tribe to study the group's high rate of diabetes, but also then using the samples for other purposes.

"Jillian's dedication to finding the key to the epidemic of obesity (beyond dietary matters) becomes corrupted by her belief that the study could lead to other genetic discoveries," it says. The play, the Times notes, was inspired by real events.

At the same time, the play also delves into Jillian's drive to study Alzheimer's disease as her mother died of the early onset form of the disease and she worries that she's passed that risk on to her daughter.

In its review, the Times says the play moves at a "lightning-quick pace," which it notes is a "reflection of Jillian's race against mortality" and that the director and cast "smoothly handle the play's complex structure."