Personal Genetics Education Project

Debating direct-to-consumer genetics and medical ‘paternalism’

How much background is needed to make sense of genetic analysis? How to people react to such information? Do we need to think differently when talking about direct-to-consumer analysis versus the type of information one is likely to receive in the medical arena from a certified genetic counselor?  These questions come up whenever pgEd is talking with students, and even in our more informal conversations with friends, colleagues and neighbors.  Recently, several writers have tackled some of these questions, with sometimes divergent conclusions. We appreciate the nuanced arguments both Virginia Hughes and Laura Hercher make in their articles.  We think these pieces also could find a place in the classroom, maybe to augment our lesson about “direct-to-consumer genetic testing.”  We could also see teachers finding these pieces great as background reading ahead of teaching almost any of the pgEd lessons.

Virginia Hughes in Slate: It’s Time to Stop Obsessing About the Dangers of Genetic Testing 

Laura Hercher (via David Dobbs’ Wired blog): The Case for Paternalism in Genetic Testing

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In the News

An event that our teacher friends may find useful: NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins will be hosting a Facebook Live event on Monday, Dec 10th from 3:15-45 pm ET, where he will take questions from middle school students from across the US. You are invited to livestream this event to your classroom and submit your students' questions in the event feed's comments section!

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
How can you start a career in STEM? Join NIH Director & geneticist Dr. Francis Collins on December 10, 2018 at 3:15 pm ET for a conversation featuring Johnson Creek Middle School on becoming a scientist. Dr. Collins will be taking questions from middle school students from across the U.S.!
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Posted by pgEd 3 months ago

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