POSITIVE SIDE EFFECT Proposed legislation designed to ban genetic discrimination may boost participation in clinical trials, says Kathy L. Hudson, assistant director for policy coordination at the National Human Genome Research Institute. Vice President Al Gore issued guidelines for genetic discrimination legislation in a report entitled "Genetic Information and the Workplace" January 20 at the National Academy of Sciences. The legislation, if enacted, would bar employers from using genetic makeup in hiring or promotion decisions. Candidates for clinical trials who decline to participate cite the misuse of genetic information as a major reason for their refusal, Hudson explains. The legislation would also allow more people to get tested for diseases without jeopardizing their employment-especially significant as genetic tests for more diseases become available. "There's now a handful of genes we can test for disease," Hudson reports. "That handful will grow to a boatful." Hudson says cases of employees losing...

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