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Hastings Center News

Could Genetic Testing for Educational Attainment Cause Harm? Hastings Researcher Begins First-Ever Study to Find Out

Scientists can now scan a person’s genome for variants associated with traits such as educational attainment, measured as the number of years spent in school. Could such testing benefit students, if it could be validated and applied in educational settings? Or could it cause harm?

Hastings Center and Columbia University postdoctoral researcher Lucas J. Matthews is exploring these question in a pilot study. “Genetic tests of educational attainment have the potential to impact the life trajectories of students,” he says. His goal is to acquire preliminary data for a larger scale study.

The Hastings Center has never shied away from the toughest ethical challenges faced by society.

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