Ethical implications of array comparative genomic hybridization in complex phenotypes: points to consider in research

Genet Med. 2007 Sep;9(9):626-31. doi: 10.1097/gim.0b013e3181485688.


As with many new diagnostic technologies, the recent rapid emergence of array comparative genome hybridization in clinical genetics provides the power to observe new biological phenomena before their clinical significance is well understood. This raises ethical issues for clinicians when applying the technologies. However, at this early stage of research and development on array comparative genome hybridization, the ethical implications of the conduct of research, as well as how research findings are presented and interpreted, should also be considered by the research, clinical, and ethics communities. These considerations are especially important in the use of array comparative genome hybridization to study complex and common traits. We examined recent publications on autism as an example of the application of array comparative genome hybridization to a complex phenotype. Our goal was to identify points to consider for researchers, clinicians, and patients/families to ensure responsible and ethical design, presentation, and interpretation of these kinds of studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / genetics
  • Gene Dosage
  • Genetic Research / ethics*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / ethics*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / ethics*
  • Phenotype*