Geneticists Question Balance of Media Coverage of the Value of Gene Sequencing and Personalized Medicine
Pathologists and medical laboratory managers will want to stay informed about how genome sequencing data is being translated into clinical applications
There is a vigorous debate unfolding about the ability of personal genome sequencing to reliably predict disease. That is not news to pathologists and clinical laboratory managers. What is a novel twist in the arguments by both sides is whether media coverage has the potential to undermine public support for genomics and personalized medicine.
For example, one media story on a study of the power of personal genome sequencing to predict disease drew fire from some genomics experts on two counts. First, they questioned the validity of the study. Second, they fear that such coverage by the media could weaken public support for genomics and personalized medicine.
Public Perception of the Value of Genetic Testing
During 2012, The New York Times published a story on a study by Johns Hopkins University that sought to determine whether genetic testing can predict future disease. According to the results of this particular study, it cannot.
Some noted genomics experts took the Times—and the study—to task. One is Ronald W. Davis, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine. Davis is Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center. (more…)