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New project on psychiatric, neurologic, and behavioral genetics
Date:1/8/2014

(Garrison, NY) The Center for Research on Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic, and Behavioral Genetics at Columbia University Medical Center unveils its mission today with the launch of its website. Two Hastings Center research scholars are core faculty members of the new center, which was recently awarded a five-year grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

As understanding of the genetic contributions to psychiatric, neurologic, and behavioral (PNB) traits and disorders grows rapidly, this knowledge is quickly being translated into clinical practice. But the information presents particular ethical, legal, and social challenges because of what it could reveal about characteristics associated with individual identity and many of our most feared afflictions. Because of the potential for stigma linked to many PNB disorders and traits, this information may negatively affect how people view themselves and how others see them. Examination of the impact of PNB genetic information and consideration of the implications for normative judgments and public policy are therefore critically needed.

"Scientific findings regarding PNB traits must be discussed with special attention to the human and social context because such traits and disordersfrom Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and depression to empathy, aggression, and intelligencecan touch our sense of who we are as persons," said Erik Parens, PhD, a senior research scholar at The Hastings Center. Parens and Josephine John
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Contact: Susan Gilbert
gilberts@thehastingscenter.org
845-424-4040 x244
The Hastings Center
Source:Eurekalert

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