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Jury out on UK gene screening and prenatal testing:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The degree of current and prospective growth in the use of prenatal genetic testing has led the UK's Human Genetics Commission (HGC) to conclude that further consideration is needed to best regulate the technology. In a milestone report, published last week, the commission said it would also monitor developments in national screening programmes. The 180-page report, "Inside Information - Balancing interests in the use of personal genetic data", puts the human subject at the top of the agenda. It is evidence of the growing awareness in the medical and clinical research communities of the high degree of sensitivity surrounding genetics, and the realisation that scientific progress involving the technology is inextricably dependent on the public's confidence in the system that regulates it. The HGC makes a range of recommendations concerning the need to adapt UK primary and secondary legislation to tighten this, and for the users of genetic information to become more closely involved with the scientific community.

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