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Genet Med. 2002 Jan-Feb;4(1):31-6.

Mapping the human genome: an assessment of media coverage and public reaction.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Hygiene & Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To assess public reactions to the June 26, 2000, announcement that scientists had nearly finished mapping the human genome.

METHODS:

We conducted a random-digit telephone survey of 407 Maryland residents as well as a content analysis of 55 relevant media reports.

RESULTS:

African Americans were more likely than Caucasians to report a negative reaction (P < 0.001) to the genome announcement. Overall, privacy/discrimination (16%) and human cloning (14%) were the most commonly mentioned concerns regarding the impact of the genome mapping.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings highlight the need for continued public discourse, including through the media, to address concerns regarding the Human Genome Project.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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