After our discussion last week about ethical issues surrounding ancestry information following our 23andMe class, I thought you all would be amused to see this e-mail that I got from 23andMe. Clearly they are recognizing the potential for concern here too. I wonder if anything prompted the company to send this out now?
I watch very little television, but I will confess that one of my current guilty pleasures is The Blacklist. Season 2, Episode 4 was all about how the propensity to aggression is based partly on genetic influences and partly on environmental influences. It is rooted in this 2002 research paper by Caspi and colleagues, that was published in Science. Check out the episode. And when you do, think about how much is accurate and how much is science fiction (my take: they actually got a lot right compared to many media portrayals of genetics). What do you think about the rogue clinical psychologist? As we better understand gene-enviornment interactions, do you think there will be people who try to use that information for harm rather than for good? How successful do you think they would be?