University home

Genethics

Baby's genetic inheritance, by Wellcome Images
Genetics research has transformed our understanding of human biology and raises important questions about how this knowledge should be used.

The modern science of molecular genetics has transformed our understanding of medicine and human biology. Knowledge of the sequence of the human genome, clinical and forensic genetic testing, and the ability to predict various health care outcomes on the basis of genetic tests are all part of the “new genetics”. But what can we do with this wealth of information – and what ought we to do? Genetic information is simultaneously some of the most private information available to us, containing as it does unique and specific information about our biological relationships, our ancestry and our medical conditions, present and future; and some of the most public, being over 99% shared with every other human being. The tension between protecting individual interests in personal genetic information and recognising the shared nature of the human genome and the information contained therein provides fruitful ground for bioethical and legal research.

Researchers working in this area include: