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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the legal implications of the entire human genome, or “genomics.” It begins with an overview of scientific aspects of human genomics and a discussion of the history of the legal, ethical, and policy challenges raised by the science of genomics. It looks at the eugenics movement in the early twentieth century and state sickle-cell screening programs targeting African Americans in the 1970s. It then considers the basic rules governing genomic research and the legal issues raised by genomic research on human subjects, so-called incidental findings, ownership of DNA samples, government oversight, and genomic research aimed at altering the human germ line. The chapter examines whether discoveries arising from genomic research are entitled to intellectual property protection, or whether they can be patented; genomic screening and testing; liability in genomic testing; genomic therapy and enhancement; forensics; and genomic discrimination. Finally, it outlines future prospects for genomic research.

Keywords: human genome, human genomics, eugenics movement, genomic research, informed consent, intellectual property, genomic screening, genomic testing, genomic therapy, forensics

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