Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program
Human Genome News Archive Edition
Human Genome News, Jan.-Feb. 1995; 6(5): 6
Genetic advances pose enormous challenges to state and federal courts, where judges are struggling to understand and assess new information. Franklin Zweig (Einstein Institute for Science, Health, and the Courts) discussed some of these issues, noting that while the impact on the judicial process has been dramatized recently by DNA evidence in the O.J. Simpson case, future impact will be far more dramatic as courts confront noncriminal topics. These issues may be as large as proposals to enact eugenic statutes and as small as a laboratory's failure to diagnose a catastrophic disease in a prenatal test. Zweig's group is developing a reference text with companion videotape and CD ROM to help judges understand genetic evidence [see HGN 5(6), 1-3 (March 1994)]. He observed, however, that more-complex cases will require the help of neutral, court-appointed expert witnesses. Zweig is compiling a roster of scientists to serve as expert witnesses and encouraged workshop attendees to add their names.
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