Wednesday, August 18, 2010

State Mandates Changes to UC Berkeley's "On the Same Page" Program's Use of DNA Results

In June, Elizabeth blogged about UC Berkeley's "On the Same Page Program," which usually selects a common book like we do. This year, they invited students to submit a DNA sample. The plan was for students to receive personalized results on selected factors as part of a campus discussion on personalized medicine.

Last week, the California Department of Public Health instructed the school not to release individual test results as planned, according to a campus press release on the program site. Instead, campus conversations such as lectures and panels will focus on results in the aggregate. Campus planners are disappointed by the change, but hope that the debate will enrich their discussions of personalized medicine and rights to personal medical information.

The administrators of "On the Same Page" have been very generous with time and planning documents in helping UW-Madison get "Go Big Read" started. Their initiative certainly generated a lot of controversy and I'm sure they'll also get to the thoughtful conversations they are hoping for.

Sarah McDaniel
UW Libraries & Go Big Read

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