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Published on Mar 18, 2010
The YOUNG MEMORIAL LECTURES SERIES Personal Genomics: Do we need doctors anymore? Cognitive Bias, Network Effects, and Personal Genomics Robert Cook-Deegan, Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University New York and California asserted their jurisdiction over personal genomics, correctly applying state laws for medical testing. First generation genomics services using methods of genome-wide association studies produce odds ratios for common health risks. They generally miss mutations in high-risk families with Mendelian conditions. So the medical prognostic implications are unclear and some known genetic defects will be missed. It makes sense to regulate. Yet the California and New York laws were passed with Huntington's, BRCA, and cystic fibrosis testing in mind, not GWAS and ancestry testing genomic social networking. The medical model interposes a health professional between person and genomic data. Mendelian tests were introduced when DNA had to be explained in every NYTimes article. But is this the right regulatory framework for personal genomics?