Genetics 2

Whole genome sequencing, Gattaca, de-identification versus anonymity, and Big Data Towers of Babel

In this episode we pick up our conversation with clinical geneticist Melody Redman to talk about a new NHS programme in England which is piloting whole genome sequencing of newborn babies. Why are scientists and doctors interested in collecting a child’s entire set of genes and storing them for the rest of their life? What medical benefits might result from this, and what ethical challenges does it throw up? Just because we can now do this, should we? We also consider some of the risks of our increasingly geneticised world and how as Christians we can hold onto our identity in Christ rather than lapsing into genetic determinism.

Find out more about the Newborn Genomes Programme here – https://www.genomicsengland.co.uk/initiatives/newborns

The group Unique helps support people and families affected by rare chromosomal and genetic disorders – https://rarechromo.org/

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