Not wanted: a national genome
Plans by the Faroe Islands to map the genomes of the island groups’ 50,000 residents within the next 10 years is meeting with criticism for causing unnecessary worry.
The project, known as FarGen, would make the Faroe Islands the first country in the world to map its entire genome.
It would make it possible for individuals see what illnesses people were pre-disposed to but Dr Lotte Hvas, of Denmark’s Etisk Råd, which advises parliament on ethical issues, said that information may be useful for science, but not the average person.
“We have a lot of mistakes in our genes, and they never cause a problem. Genetic sequencing raises a lot of ethical dilemmas without making us any wiser,” she said. Scientific groups have also criticised the project for not providing significant information to the public.
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