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Cracking The Code; DNA Testing

Publication Date: 
February 14, 2008
ABC News
Martin Bashir

Professor Henry T. "Hank" Greely is part of a discussion on ABC's Nightline about genetic testing:

PROF HANK GREELY (STANFORD UNIVERSITY): The possibility of people learning deeply unsettling things and only having acomputer screen to talk to worries me.

LINDA AVEY (23ANDME): (Voiceover) Stanford law professor Hank Greely specializes in the societal effects of genetics research.

PROF HANK GREELY (STANFORD UNIVERSITY): That's giving people a lot of information that isn't coming through a trained geneticist or a genetics counselor, doesn't necessarily come through somebody who can tell you, this is what this really means and that increases the chances that people are going to make mistakes. Some of those mistakes can be deadly.


PROF HANK GREELY (STANFORD UNIVERSITY): We both fear and love the idea that somehow our genomes are us, that everything about us is defined by this long sequence of A's, C's, G's and T's. Well, you know, it's just not true. For most of us, the events that have happened during our lifetimes, that's more important in who we are than what genes we were born with. And that's really important for us to remember. Genes are influences, they're not destiny. And if we think too heavily that they are destiny, we're just going to mess ourselves up.