Genomics data banking could revolutionise healthcare, but comes with unmitigated risks

You read a brochure that promises to tell you what diseases you are likely to get in the next decade. Obviously you want to lead a longer, healthier life. So you send a cheek swab to the clinic and await test results. Thankfully, your reports are largely all-clear except a minor mutation which would likely pre-dispose you to diabetes in your 40s. Your doctor dutifully prescribes diet control, exercise and a pill.

A few months later, you hear that your cousin has got convicted in a hit-and-run case. Unwittingly, you played a role in the conviction because it was your DNA that led the police to identify him. Your chances of getting diabetes may be lower, but your cousin’s chances of proving himself innocent are nil. Sounds unbelievable? (Read more)