NIH to Create Public Database of Genetic Tests

Today the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced its plans to create a public database in which genetic test providers will voluntarily deposit information about their services that can then be searched by researchers, consumers, health care providers, and others. The aim of this Genetic Testing Registry, which is expected to be launched in early 2011, is to enhance access to information about the availability, validity, and usefulness of genetic tests.

“The need for this database reflects how far we have come in the last 10 years,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., in a press release. “The registry will help consumers and health care providers determine the best options for genetic testing, which is becoming more and more common and accessible.”

“We welcome the news of the Genetic Testing Registry,” said 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki in response to the announcement.  “23andMe has always been committed to providing individuals with the information they need to make the most of their own genetic information.  We look forward to working with the NIH on this project.”

More information about the Genetic Testing Registry is available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information here.  Comments and questions can be submitted from this page.  There is also a list of background reading materials.

Francis Collins has done several interviews in the past few weeks where he has discussed the role of genetics in health care, now and in the future. A quick video interview with the Washington Post can be seen here.  An hour long interview he did on the Diane Rehm show is available here.


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