Scientists to Study Adam Lanza's DNA
Investigation prompts controversy among experts
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 28, 2012 1:39 AM CST
This undated image shows Adam Lanza posing for a group photo.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Following a request by a Connecticut medical examiner, geneticists appear poised to investigate Adam Lanza's DNA. Outside experts say the University of Connecticut scientists—who have agreed to "give any assistance they can"—will probably search for genetic mutations or abnormalities that might prompt mental illness or aggression. They may study Lanza's full genome, ABC News reports. But the potential project has some geneticists concerned: It could lead to a stigma against anyone with such mutations.

"It's too risky from the standpoint of unduly stigmatizing people, but also from distracting us from real red flags to prevent violence from occurring," says a psychiatry professor. "The last thing we need when people are in the midst of grief is offering people quick fixes which may help our anxiety, but can be counterproductive to our long term safety and ethics." What's more, the sample size—one person—is too small to determine anything, says an outside geneticist. But another expert says such a study could help figure out "who is at risk and what might be dramatic treatments."

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Dec 28, 2012 6:55 PM CST
Yep - let's spend all that money to find what the delta's are in the DNA and Genome. Then make leaps regarding conclusions on causality without enough information to do so. Not like scientists haven't been doing for years/decades now. Then once the stigma sticks - they come back later after more information is made available and go ooooops... my bad...
Dec 28, 2012 2:56 PM CST
So they can genetically engineer the soldier of the future.
Dec 28, 2012 2:34 PM CST
Yes, We would all like a quick fix for this problem---genetic engineering, a pill to pop, a round-up and quarantine of the most broken in our society. Sadly, we will someday come to realize that we are all responsible for the way Adam reacted. Our shunning of those who are different, is coming back to haunt us. People who have special needs often have special gifts. If we want to fix, prevent or dispose of people like Adam, then we need to be prepared to do without people like Einstein, Edison, Van Gogh, Temple Grandin and Mozart.