I see personal genomics more generally evolving rapidly to become a major part of everyday life for Americans and around the globe. At the same time, potential problems associated with it will continue to emerge in parallel and merit serious evaluation.
When one thinks of patents, one generally thinks of mechanical contraptions, the products of a creative genius, such as Thomas Edison. Rarely does one think of human genes. Alas, since 1982 the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted patents on human genes.
The ENCODE Project results don't alter the current view of the genome; they just provide a basis for further investigation. Additionally, the findings were embargoed for years to enable the PR blitz -- at minimum unseemly when public funds are involved.
Currently insurance companies, by and large, pay for targeted carrier status genetic testing if it can be justified and if you are pregnant. But this timing is not optimal and the ancestry guesswork is often wrong. Consumers should have the choice to test before conception.
As scientists improve their ability to manipulate the genome, will a market might emerge for people who want to imprint quotes into their own DNA, or even their children's, as a sort of genetic tattoo?
Unfortunately, there is a tendency towards a paternalistic attitude by certain groups in the medical professions who seek to limit access to medical information that is not directly under their control.