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Exploring Personal Genomics$
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Joel T. Dudley and Konrad J. Karczewski

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644483.001.0001

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Practical and ethical considerations in personal genomics

Practical and ethical considerations in personal genomics

(p.24) Chapter 2 Practical and ethical considerations in personal genomics
Exploring Personal Genomics

Joel T. Dudley

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the reasons and considerations that are often taken into account whenever someone wishes to obtain their personal genetic information. It stresses the importance of being mindful of the risks and benefits, as well as current limitations and ethical issues that may be encountered along the way. The capacity to understand and acknowledge these limitations of personal genomics is crucial, especially to the proper interpretation of a personal genome. More specifically, the chapter emphasizes caution against a notion of ‘genetic determinism,’ which is a misinformed belief that genetics is the primary determinant of most human traits, including behavior and intelligence. This is because there are numerous other unstudied genetic factors, environmental factors, and combinations thereof that may have an influence on the final phenotype — or a disease, trait, or drug response. Thus, the chapter invites for full understanding of the interpretation of a personal genome, rather than a deterministic, or even fatalistic view.

Keywords:   personal genetic information, personal genomics, personal genome, genetic determinism, genetics, genetic factors, phenotype

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