How Private Is Your Genetic Code? Less So Than You May Think

Anyone who's watched more than a few episodes of <em>Law & Order</em> knows how easy it is to unwittingly get a sample of someone's <strong>DNA</strong> — a discarded coffee cup, a used Kleenex, a few stray hairs and you're good to go. In Dick Wolf's world, such samples are used to catch the bad guys (or exonerate the good guys), but in real life, <strong>genetic code</strong> can reveal a variety of information, including what diseases may lurk in someone's future. This type of genetic testing — known as <strong>whole genome sequencing</strong> — has many useful applications. But a report released today by the presidential <strong>bioethics </strong>commission reveals that many legal issues surrounding genetic <strong>privacy</strong> have yet to be addressed.