23andMe and the Promise of Anonymous Genetic Testing

March 3, 2015

(New York Times) – The F.D.A. has allowed 23andMe to market genetic tests for mutations directly to the public. The agency said that, for the most part, so-called carrier tests would no longer need advance approval before being marketed this way. But 23andMe is also offering access to its data for research, opening up questions about privacy and anonymity. Should commercial companies share genetic information for research purposes? Is it an invasion of privacy or is the potential for scientific breakthrough more important?