Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: genomic research

Getting Serious About Personal Genomics’ Risks

After several months of public drama, the University of California, Berkeley’s ambitious program to introduce its incoming freshmen to personalized medicine reached its denouement in late August. As part of its program, Berkeley offered students the option to participate in genetic testing for three common genetic variants relevant to the body’s ability to metabolize milk […]

The Havasupai Indians and the Challenge of Informed Consent for Genomic Research

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amy Harmon, of The New York Times, reports that a long-running dispute between Arizona State University (ASU) and the Havasupai Indians over the allegedly improper research use of DNA from members of the tribe has been settled. The research began two decades ago, ostensibly to search for a genetic variant that might […]

What the FCC’s Broadband Report Means for Genomics and Personalized Medicine

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Plan was released to Congress today. (Depending on your perspective, that’s either one day ahead or 30 days behind schedule.) What, you might ask, does a broadband report prepared by an agency better known for handing out fines in the aftermath of wardrobe malfunctions have to say that […]

Kaiser’s Massive Genetic Database Leverages Its Patient Population (But It’s A One Way Street)

This week MIT’s Technology Review featured a story about Kaiser Permanente and its plans to use its Northern California patients to construct an enormous genetic database. The acronym-unfriendly Research Program on Genes, Environment, & Health, or RPGEH is funded in large part by a $25 million NIH research grant courtesy of February’s stimulus bill. The […]

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 […]

Informed Consent for Pediatric Biobanking

What rules should govern the participation of children in large-scale genomic biobanking research? That’s the question that David Gurwitz, Isabel Fortier, Jeantine E. Lunshof and Bartha Maria Knoppers tackle in a policy forum piece in the current issue of Science. The Importance of Open Consent In considering the use of DNA samples and phenotypic data […]

Genomics and Personalized Medicine: Facts, Fiction, Future?

Over the weekend I took part in the 13th Conference on Genetics & Ethics in the 21st Century in Breckenridge, CO. The theme was “Genomics and Personalized Medicine, Facts, Fiction, Future?” Although the altitude (Breckenridge is at 9,600 ft) posed a problem for several participants, the conference otherwise went off without a hitch. The program […]