Self Explorimentation

What ELSI is new (article)This commentary in the Genomics Law Report’s ongoing series What ELSI is New? is contributed by Mike Cariaso, SNPedia.

Anyone with $400 is now able to learn much about their own DNA. This door is already open, but we’ve not yet had time to determine where it leads. The first few steps are small, and seem to be within the bounds of what is broadly acceptable. Stepping further seems to go beyond what we can reliably know today.

A DNA variant named rs3892097 increases risk of Parkinson’s Disease when exposed to pesticides. Is my insurer/employer allowed/obligated to test for this genotype and to prevent me from working with materials which are particularly hazardous to me? Do I have the right to work around pesticides? Similarly rs1799807 increases sensitivity to nerve agents such as VX and Sarin, how should the military factor this into their planning?

Today’s grey market for performance enhancing drugs

adopts tomorrow’s genetic engineering medicines. An injection restores normal vision to the color blind

Using a slightly different DNA pattern makes it just as easy to give

to those afflicted with merely normal vision. Adding fully functional gills to the human body becomes a safe and similar procedure. World hunger ends when we add chloroplasts.

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