genomics & society

And What Would You Like for Christmas?

Posted by Myra I. Roche on December 21, 2011

As I reported in my last post, an estimated 30,000 genomes will have been sequenced by the end of the next week. One of these belongs to a new guest contributor, Kiri Sunde, a UNC-CH undergraduate who majors in quantitative biology and mathematics. What could prompt a science-savvy, young woman to spit in a tube and mail her DNA off to 23 and Me? Was it curiosity about her possible pre-disposition to her family’s chronic diseases,  a professor’s assurance that it was good for him, the perfect Christmas present, or ultimately, because the price ($100) was finally right? Did her knowledge of genetics or her curiosity play the bigger role? Find out by reading her post, which can be found here.

Speaking from a different generation and from a different perspective, Dr. Kelly Hogan, a senior lecturer in the Department of Biology at UNC-CH, pondered the same question but made a very different choice. Was her scientific knowledge as a human genetics professor a barrier? Or did it simply come down to a different collection of life experiences? Would her decision have been any  different if sequencing had been available when she was 20? Her decision and the factors influencing it can be found in her post, below and here.

Thanks to both of them for sharing their stories.


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