Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: genetic privacy

Surreptitious Genetic Testing: WikiLeaks Highlights Gap in Genetic Privacy Law

The top news story the past two weeks: the release of hundreds of thousands of confidential American diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. While dissecting diplomatic maneuvering is not a traditional area of expertise for the Genomics Law Report, a pair of cables did catch our eye. The first is primarily a curiosity: the allegation that Chinese […]

Germany Struggles to Find Balance in Promoting, Regulating Genetic Technologies

Last fall we reported on the passage of the Human Genetic Examination Act by the German Bundestag. We characterized the Gendiagnostikgesetz (GenDG), as the act is known in Germany, as “a clear example of what is known as ‘genetic exceptionalism’—the belief that genetic information is qualitatively different from other forms of personal or medical information—staking […]

“From Gulf Oil to Snake Oil”: Congress Takes Aim at DTC Genetic Testing

It has been a busy week in Washington for direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies. Following public FDA meetings and a new round of FDA device notification letters earlier in the week, representatives from three major DTC genetic testing companies (23andMe, Navigenics and Pathway Genomics) were hauled in front of Congress today to defend their companies, their […]

The Unexpected Impact of Genetics on the Business World

Recent advances in genetic science are remarkable. In 2003 the first full human genome was sequenced after 13 years of work at a cost of over $3 billion. Today, the cost to sequence any individual’s entire genome is approaching $1,000. Genetic tests for specific genes linked to cancer and other diseases exist today and many […]

Genomic Privacy and Re-Identification Redux

New research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from Loukides et al. offers up a new method for preserving individual privacy while linking genomic and healthcare data. (“Anonymization of electronic medical records for validating genome-wide association studies.”) Daniel Cressey of Nature News and Katharine Gammon of Technology Review have […]

What ELSI was New? Plenty.

From October 5 to December 8, 2009, the Genomics Law Report featured a series of thirty-six guest commentaries by industry, academic and thought leaders in the fields of genomics and personalized medicine. Entitled What ELSI is New?, the series, which we have organized into an e-book (pdf), asked each contributor to briefly respond to the following question: “What do […]

Back to the Future: NIH to Revisit Genomic Data-Sharing Policy

As first reported by GenomeWeb, last week the NIH issued a “Notice on Development of Data Sharing Policy for Sequence and Related Genomic Data.” Although the title doesn’t exactly trip off of the tongue, the NIH’s announcement provides an opportunity to review where we are and where we have already been when it comes to […]

Re-identification and its Discontents

Last fall, a paper from Homer et al. in PLoS Genetics made waves by demonstrating that it was possible, in principle, to identify an individual’s genomic data within a large dataset of pooled genomic data. Pooled or aggregated genomic data had previously been considered to provide individual research participants with a strong measure of privacy. The […]

New Fuel for the Genomic Privacy Debate

The growth of prominent genomics research and direct-to-consumer (DTC) commercial services that combine genomic data with phenotypic data, environmental data and personal health surveys continues to spur debate over the appropriate privacy safeguards and expectations for individuals who participate in such research or enroll in such services. From large-scale genomic research projects such as the […]