Gattaca Put Off A Few Years

The Senate voted 95-0 last week in favor of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. This legislation bars employers and health insurers from discriminating against people with a genetic predisposition to disease.

The House is expected to pass the bill soon, and President Bush has promised to sign it. According to the bill's findings, it should provide:

"a national and uniform basic standard ... necessary to fully protect the public from discrimination and allay their concerns about the potential for discrimination, thereby allowing individuals to take advantage of genetic testing, technologies, research, and new therapies."


(Gattaca: Employees pass compulsory DNA testing stations)

In the 1997 movie Gattaca, everyone was routinely tested to determine not only susceptibility to disease, but employability as well. (This is the endpoint that the bill described above is ultimately intended to prevent: a situation in which companies could choose whom to hire based on genetic heritage.)

In the film, testing was eased by automated DNA typing; employees were forbidden to enter their place of work until their suitability was established by on-the-spot testing.


(Employees provide a DNA sample upon entry)

See also Gattaca-Style DNA Databank For 3 Million Americans and Spartan DX Real-Time DNA Check for more information.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/27/2008)

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