Gene studies pose ethical dilemma when disease mutations are found

mutation

In laboratories around the world, genetic researchers using tools that are ever more sophisticated to peer into the DNA of cells are increasingly finding things they were not looking for, including information that could make a big difference to an anonymous donor. The question of how, when and whether to return genetic results to study subjects or their families “is one of the thorniest current challenges in clinical research,” said Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health.    

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