13 August 2010
The university has said that it will continue with the programme, which was intended to provoke discussion, but provide collective, pooled findings as opposed to individual results, in compliance with the regulatory edict (see press release). A university facility will be used to analyse the DNA samples.
Announcing that they would comply with the CDPH ruling, programme lead and Dean of Biological Sciences Mark Schlissel nevertheless struck a defiant note, saying: "We believe this is a flawed reading of the statute that raises questions about who has control over teaching at the university, and in the broader sense, who has control over information about our own genes" (see AP news)
Others have welcomed the decision; medical anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes reportedly said that the distinction between whether the testing was for educational or medical purposes had not been made sufficiently clear, with the student invitations to participate having included a ‘medical subjects’ bill of rights’ (see Nature blog).
If, however, the testing programme was conceived primarily or partly for promotional purposes, it has been highly successful in attracting attention.