Under a new proposal, people in England will be able to pay the NHS to have their genome sequenced, as long as they agree to share their anonymised data with researchers. This scheme would work in parallel with NHS-funded genome sequencing offered to people with certain inherited conditions and follows the 100,000 Genomes Project, which set out to learn more about how changes in DNA contribute to rare diseases and cancer.
Collecting genome sequence data from healthy people will undoubtedly increase our understanding of the link between DNA and disease and lead to new treatments. However, NHS delivery of a service that lets the public pay for personalised reports on their genetic make-up is premature.
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