Science, Wired Feature LawSeq Conference

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Two major media outlets have run coverage of last week's LawSeqSM conference and webcast, held on the University of Minnesota campus. Science Magazine focused on the difficulty of accurately interpreting genomic variants, and the legal liability claims that could result. The article quotes Prof. James Evans (University of North Carolina), a member of the LawSeqSM working group: “The genome is static, but our ability to analyze it and interpret it is undergoing dramatic change. We don’t understand most of these variants, nor their potential impact on health and diseases . . . and we change our minds a lot, which is kind of frightening for patients.” In Wired Magazine, the writer homed in on genetic privacy, including observations by Mark Rothstein (University of Louisville), also a member of the working group. He stated, “In the US we have taken to protecting genetic information separately rather than using more general privacy laws, and most of the people who’ve looked at it have concluded that’s a really bad idea." Rothstein contrasted US laws and policy with those of the European Union, where DNA is treated as personal data. The LawSeqSM conference is part of an NIH-funded project to map the law of genomics for translation from laboratory into clinical settings. Learn more about LawSeqSM here