Aggregated News

gloved hand holding vial of blood that is labeled "DNA Test"

Last year, a study linking the DNA and education data for 3 million people of European ancestry found the resulting genetic scores predicted 15% of a person’s highest level of schooling—an influence nearly as strong as parents’ combined education level.

The latest in a series of provocative findings, the study raised a concern a new report out last week from an expert panel addresses: Could studies probing genetic links to social outcomes such as income and education and to traits such as intelligence uncover differences in people of different ancestries that could be misused by racists?

The panel concluded that given scientific uncertainties, for now, scientists and funders should avoid such comparative studies. In the United States, such concerns may be distant: Science has learned that the two major federally funded biobanks generally don’t let their data be used for nonmedical research. But experts convened by the Hastings Center, an ethics think tank, split on whether such studies should ever be done, with some arguing they will never be ethically justified.

“There are people in the group who probably would...