|USB memory stick - size genome sequencing device|
History has taught us the incredibly powerful technology that can massively influence our lives is also a potential hazard that must be controlled. Who should have access to your DNA sequence? Your health service? Your government? Your family (who have many of the same genes as you) Or just you? This is an ethical dilemma we have to consider and quickly.
This flood of information will need a whole new breed of supercomputer to analyse the information, and of course our clinical researchers stand to learn a huge amount from knowing what genes all of their patients have - many illnesses will be strongly influenced by the specific genes and their mutations carried by everyone.
We will also soon learn that under the skin we are all carrying mutations, we are all part of the huge genetic variation that gives us our individuality but also binds us together as the human race - far more in common with each other than we generally appreciate now.
The US government are starting to hold discussion with the public to try to come to a concensus to try to answer some of these questions. We are already debating the issues with our patients groups (Yahoo, Facebook) - feel free to join in!
Breaking news - have a look at this TV programme for a compelling examination of the effect genomic testing will have on our lives http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRz5M0WUkzo