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2008 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2008. The NHGRI Director and many genomics experts from across NHGRI took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy.


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Due to the significant discoveries being made at the current time, when do you believe your research topics may be hindered from growing moral concerns?
     Sharon Terry, M.A.: Runs the Genetic Alliance, a coalition of over 600 disease specific advocacy organizations working to increase capacity in advocacy organizations and to leverage the voices of the millions of individuals and families affected by genetic conditions. I think it is possible for research to be hindered by more concerns. It does happen and sometimes should happen.

In some instances, a whole society has moral concerns, and the society decides to stop research. A good example is cloning humans.

In other instances, there might be moral concerns which are only important to a subset of the society, and instead a discussion should occur to determine whether or not to hinder research. Some examples might be genetic testing in children, testing in certain populations, gene therapy and stem cell research. These are not all cut and dry.

Lugoff-Elgin High School in SC (10th grade student)


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