Panel discussion: Direct to consumer genetic testing

Thursday 23 April, 2015, 18:45

Lecture theatre 1, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

What would you like to know about yourself? Whether you’re susceptible to hearing loss? How you might respond to certain drugs? Whether you’re genetically wired to drink more caffeine? Until very recently, finding answers to these questions would have cost you thousands of pounds. These days, however, anyone can have their DNA sequenced for a little over £100.

Thanks to the rise in popularity of companies such as 23andMe, home genetic testing – banned in the US until just last month and now available in Britain – has become not only more affordable, but also more accessible. At the click of a button (submission of a small saliva sample and a six to eight week wait) you can have a wealth of information at your fingertips which could allow you to make informed decisions about how you live, potentially maximising the future of your health.

But just because we can, does it mean we should? How do we regulate these companies and the technology they are using? Just how accurate are these tests? And who exactly has access to our data?

Join a panel of experts including Dr Stuart Hogarth, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine, Professor Christopher Shaw, Director, Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, and Professor Frances Flinter, Consultant in Clinical Genetics at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, as they consider the many ethical dimensions of DIY genetic testing.

To book a place: email alumnoff@kcl.ac.uk or call 020 7848 3053

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