50 whys to look for genes: 2. Identify presence of risk factors

If presence of a section of DNA (SNP) increases the odds of a disease, then look for that section in people and provide them that information.

A complication, described in an article in yesterday’s New York Times, is that the information might not translate into remedial action or not into action that is within the resources of the person and their community of care and support.  Withholding such information once it is available is seen by some as paternalistic (see controversy over study of Huntington’s Disease in a Venezuelan community).  At the same time, it could also be seen as paternalistic to develop the means to provide the information without developing the capacity to provide the care and support and without involving in decision-making about research those who will be affected by the results.

(Introduction to this series of posts)

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2 thoughts on “50 whys to look for genes: 2. Identify presence of risk factors

  1. Pingback: 50 whys to look for genes: 11. Eliminate the distinction between familial and hereditary cancers | Intersecting Processes

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