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The Answer to a COVID-19 Vaccine May Lie in Our Genes, But

Scientific American – “The coronavirus, as we all know, has brought our economy to its knees. As the search for vaccines and treatments accelerates, geneticists are now looking to our genes to understand why some recover quickly or show no symptoms, while others die. To do so, they are searching DNA databases and cross-referencing them with COVID-19 cases. This research holds great promise for addressing the pandemic. 
 Yet if scientists do find answers in our genes, we need to consider the implications for genetic privacy. Armed with the ability to identify who is vulnerable and who is not, how will society proceed? On the one hand, health care providers could use genetic testing to help vulnerable patients stay safe. But there would also be a temptation to use genetic testing in the workplace. Companies could use genetic test results to manage the risks for all employees, for example by controlling the activities of those who are most vulnerable. Businesses will also see opportunities to use genetic test results in the marketplace, for example by tailoring insurance offerings according to genetic risk. Currently, there are some limited legal protections against genetic discrimination and health privacy intrusions, but the pandemic has already led the federal government to scale back some of those protections for the time being…”

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