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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.



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


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


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.


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

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