Cambridge Science Centre


Guest Blog: Your genes, your voice and the future

Written on 30 Apr 2013 in Blog

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, who helped develop the Inside DNA exhibits currently hosted at the Science Centre, need your help with their research. They are one of the world's leading genome centres focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease, and they are now looking for members of the and they are now looking for members of the public, scientists and health professionals to provide their opinions/comments about DNA testing.

So here is a guest blog from Dr Anna Middleton, Ethics Researcher, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge:

Your doctor knows you are likely to get a life-threatening illness. You’d want to know, right? or maybe not? The Sanger Institute in Cambridge is running a survey to find out.

Your genes can tell you about your past, present and future medical health; it is now possible to look at all 20,000 of your genes in one go through the analysis of a saliva sample. Such ‘genome sequencing’ will be available in the NHS in a matter of months and could tell you how you might respond to medications through to whether you are at risk of developing certain conditions, as you get older. Sounds good? But how do you fancy getting 20,000 results in one go? What do you think about testing children for adult-onset conditions?

We are exploring the ethical implications of genome sequencing; if you want to learn about the issues (no prior knowledge required), enjoy abit of mind-bending and want to contribute towards some Cambridge research then take the survey now :

We are delighted to learn that Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer to the UK government will be using the findings from our research: “Initiatives such as this survey will help us to ensure we deliver the benefits most sought after by the public. I will consider these findings carefully as part of my role to oversee the patient's interests around privacy and data access in the Prime Minister's initiative to sequence 100,000 genomes from NHS patients". Share your views now: Dame Sally is listening!

If you want to find out more about genome analysis and genetic testing before or after participating in the survey, visit the Cambridge Science Centre who are currently hosting interactive exhibits from Inside DNA exhibition.