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Genetic Information

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
December 10, 2015 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
If you were at high risk for a deadly, untreatable disease, would you want to know it? Would you want to join a clinical trial? Alzheimer's researchers are hoping that a lot of people are so eager to find a cure that they will answer yes to both those questions. GeneMatch, an ambitious, national effort to recruit people at high genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease, was launched Tuesday by the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix and will include a key role for University of Pennsylvania researchers.
NEWS
June 25, 1996
The New Jersey legislature took an important step toward protecting the public last week, when it approved strict limits on the use of genetic information by insurers. The measure's underlying premise is that it is pointless and dangerous to gather such information until the companies - and the public - know what to do with it. Gov. Whitman should sign the bill. But since a similar measure died prematurely in Harrisburg, it's clear there needs to be a unified, national policy on the privacy issues associated with the growing availability of genetic information.
NEWS
August 1, 2011 | By Mitchell Hecht, For The Inquirer
Question: Recently, our son needed an operation and had his blood identified as type O. My wife and other son, as well as myself, are type B. How can parents with the same blood type produce a child with a completely different type? Answer: It's totally possible for you and your wife to be type B and to have a son who's type O. When we refer to blood types like A, B, and O, we're describing the presence or absence of A or B "antigens" - protein substances found on the surface of your red blood cells.
NEWS
October 8, 2000 | By Arthur Caplan
This nation is on the brink of the greatest revolution in the history of science - the genetic revolution. We need to know how our political candidates plan to open the benefits of this revolution to all and guard against its dangers. Here are six major challenges that the media ought to press candidates to address. Should genetic information be banned from use in determining eligibility for employment and insurance? The mapping of the human genome will shortly bring us new genetic tests that will do many of us a great deal of good.
NEWS
March 28, 2001 | By Thomas Fitzgerald INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
Seeking to protect personal privacy on science's new frontier, two state senators yesterday introduced bills to restrict the use of an individual's genetic information. Sponsored by a conservative Republican and a liberal Democrat, the package would ensure the confidentiality of genetic tests and would prohibit insurance companies from using the results of such tests to discriminate in their health coverage. In recent years, 33 states, including New Jersey and Delaware, have enacted similar laws.
NEWS
November 23, 1990 | By Donna Shaw, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Chicago woman is turned down for a job after her prospective employer learns that her mother was schizophrenic - an inherited trait. In Los Angeles, a man who shows no signs of illness is excluded from his company's health insurance plan because one of his children suffers from neurofibromatosis, a potentially fatal, inherited disease. In the Southwest, a pregnant women whose fetus tests positive for the cystic fibrosis gene is told by her health maintenance organization that it will not cover the baby's medical expenses should she carry it to term.
NEWS
April 10, 2000 | By Art Caplan
An astounding announcement was made Thursday. Craig Venter, the CEO and scientific majordomo of Celera Genomics, a private company based in Maryland, said he and his colleagues had finished analyzing all the components that make up human DNA. Nearly every human cell contains a full complement of the DNA, the software that drives our development and aging throughout each of our lives.There are about 3 billion letters in the roughly 80,000 genes that make up the instructions for making a human.
NEWS
July 2, 2000 | By Maria Maccecchini
On Independence Day, James Dewey Watson and Francis Harry Compton Crick will be awarded the 2000 Philadelphia Liberty Medal. Their names might not ring a bell but their achievement deserves our city's highest honor. Watson and Crick, along with fellow genetic researcher Maurice Wilkins, discovered the structure of DNA, which is the blueprint of the human body. Although this momentous discovery occurred almost five decades ago - after identifying the DNA molecule in 1953, the trio shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1962 - without it, the current revolution in genetics and biotechnology might never have happened.
NEWS
March 2, 2003 | By U.S. Sen. Bill Frist
Friday was the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA. Scientists JamesWatson, Francis Crick and MauriceWilkins shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for the feat, which has led to a new era of innovation and uncertainty. Here four eminent experts consider the impact of DNA and genomic technologies on ethics, future medical and scientific research, crime investigation, and legislative priorities in Washington. Editor's note: The Inquirer asked the Senate Majority leader, a Republican from Tennessee and a surgeon who has written extensively on medical ethics, to respond to questions about how the genetic revolution should affect public policy.
NEWS
May 3, 2008
It was a big, epoch-making step into the future. With a stumble. The Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was approved 414-1 in the House of Representatives Thursday, joining a 95-0 Senate vote for a similar bill April 24. The president is almost certain to sign whatever emerges from conference. If made law, it will make it illegal for insurers to deny insurance to, or raise rates on, applicants based on results of genetic testing. Employers can't hire, deny jobs, fire or promote on such grounds, either.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
December 10, 2015 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
If you were at high risk for a deadly, untreatable disease, would you want to know it? Would you want to join a clinical trial? Alzheimer's researchers are hoping that a lot of people are so eager to find a cure that they will answer yes to both those questions. GeneMatch, an ambitious, national effort to recruit people at high genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease, was launched Tuesday by the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix and will include a key role for University of Pennsylvania researchers.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2013 | By Sam Wood, PHILLY.COM
There's a genetic testing revolution underway at your local hospital. And it's causing doctors and medical students to confront some very thorny issues. "Personalized medicine" uses genetic information derived from tests to predict a patient's chances of coming down with diseases and offers ways of tailoring some cures. Could testing on a fetus show that the person has the potential to be autistic? Gay? If so, what will parents do with the information? A product of a $30 billion effort to sequence the human genome, the tests until recently have been limited to those wealthy enough to pay up to $10,000.
NEWS
August 1, 2011 | By Mitchell Hecht, For The Inquirer
Question: Recently, our son needed an operation and had his blood identified as type O. My wife and other son, as well as myself, are type B. How can parents with the same blood type produce a child with a completely different type? Answer: It's totally possible for you and your wife to be type B and to have a son who's type O. When we refer to blood types like A, B, and O, we're describing the presence or absence of A or B "antigens" - protein substances found on the surface of your red blood cells.
NEWS
May 3, 2008
It was a big, epoch-making step into the future. With a stumble. The Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was approved 414-1 in the House of Representatives Thursday, joining a 95-0 Senate vote for a similar bill April 24. The president is almost certain to sign whatever emerges from conference. If made law, it will make it illegal for insurers to deny insurance to, or raise rates on, applicants based on results of genetic testing. Employers can't hire, deny jobs, fire or promote on such grounds, either.
NEWS
April 18, 2003 | By Susan Perry
Five years ago, I had a serious bout with malignant melanoma that entailed major surgery, a decision whether to pursue experimental treatment through a clinical trial, and follow-up exams every three months for two years. The doctors always asked for my medical history - malignant melanoma tends to run in a family. But I could tell the doctors nothing because I am an adoptee in New Jersey. I have no legal right to my genetic information. Enacted in 1940, when the shame of an illegitimate birth was overwhelming, New Jersey adoption law still reflects the mores of that time.
NEWS
March 2, 2003 | By U.S. Sen. Bill Frist
Friday was the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA. Scientists JamesWatson, Francis Crick and MauriceWilkins shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for the feat, which has led to a new era of innovation and uncertainty. Here four eminent experts consider the impact of DNA and genomic technologies on ethics, future medical and scientific research, crime investigation, and legislative priorities in Washington. Editor's note: The Inquirer asked the Senate Majority leader, a Republican from Tennessee and a surgeon who has written extensively on medical ethics, to respond to questions about how the genetic revolution should affect public policy.
NEWS
March 28, 2001 | By Thomas Fitzgerald INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
Seeking to protect personal privacy on science's new frontier, two state senators yesterday introduced bills to restrict the use of an individual's genetic information. Sponsored by a conservative Republican and a liberal Democrat, the package would ensure the confidentiality of genetic tests and would prohibit insurance companies from using the results of such tests to discriminate in their health coverage. In recent years, 33 states, including New Jersey and Delaware, have enacted similar laws.
NEWS
October 8, 2000 | By Arthur Caplan
This nation is on the brink of the greatest revolution in the history of science - the genetic revolution. We need to know how our political candidates plan to open the benefits of this revolution to all and guard against its dangers. Here are six major challenges that the media ought to press candidates to address. Should genetic information be banned from use in determining eligibility for employment and insurance? The mapping of the human genome will shortly bring us new genetic tests that will do many of us a great deal of good.
NEWS
July 2, 2000 | By Maria Maccecchini
On Independence Day, James Dewey Watson and Francis Harry Compton Crick will be awarded the 2000 Philadelphia Liberty Medal. Their names might not ring a bell but their achievement deserves our city's highest honor. Watson and Crick, along with fellow genetic researcher Maurice Wilkins, discovered the structure of DNA, which is the blueprint of the human body. Although this momentous discovery occurred almost five decades ago - after identifying the DNA molecule in 1953, the trio shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1962 - without it, the current revolution in genetics and biotechnology might never have happened.
NEWS
July 2, 2000 | By Andrea Knox, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With a technological advance as awe inspiring as the sequencing of the human genome, it is exhilarating to imagine the wonderful benefits that could flow from it. As President Clinton said Monday, when two separate teams of researchers announced that they had deciphered the chemical sequence of the genome, this is "profound new knowledge" with "immense power to heal. " But in any such advance lie the seeds of ethical dilemmas or social injustices, which are much more troublesome to confront.
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