LONDON, March 6, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel Prize-winning British scientist, warned fellow scientists this week that advances in genetic research herald "genetic discrimination" within 20 years. By that time, he predicts, the entire genetic code of every newborn baby could be recorded and used for or against the person for the rest of his life. "We need to be extremely careful how this technology is used to shape our society," he said.

Individual genome sequences, which reveal each individual's susceptibility to particular diseases, could be recorded on every citizen's health or identity cards, Nurse told a gathering of the Royal Society, an academy of scientists. In turn, the information would allow health care providers, insurance companies, employers and every branch of government to treat people differently. At the very least, it could mean higher fees and insurance premiums for people with genetic defects, reports said.

Nurse won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Leland H. Hartwell, R. and Timothy Hunt for their discoveries of "key regulators of the cell cycle."

For BBC coverage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2816003.stm

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