Ethical Implications of Epigenetics Research

Nature Reviews Genetics, Vol. 10 No. 4, April 2009

1 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2009

See all articles by Mark A. Rothstein

Mark A. Rothstein

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law; University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2009

Abstract

New advances in epigenetics research are being reported at an accelerating rate. Intriguing research findings, primarily from animal studies, show that epigenetic changes tend to occur at a much higher frequency than mutations in DNA sequence, that the susceptibility to epigenetic changes is greater at earlier stages of development, and that epigenetic changes are often reversible.. Importantly, a growing body of data from animal and human studies suggests that alterations in gene expression that are due to epigenetic processes, such as DNA methylation, can be inherited and affect future generations.

Keywords: epigenetics, genetics, research, environmental justice, intergenerational justice, access to health care, privacy, risk assessment

JEL Classification: K31, K32

Suggested Citation

Rothstein, Mark A., Ethical Implications of Epigenetics Research (April 1, 2009). Nature Reviews Genetics, Vol. 10 No. 4, April 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1520012

Mark A. Rothstein (Contact Author)

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law ( email )

Louisville, KY 40202
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.louisville.edu/bioethics

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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