The successes of the Human Genome Project and the continuing advances of DNA technology have ushered in a new era of genomic science. Investigators around the world are using genomic technologies to advance our fundamental understanding of biologic and physiologic mechanisms in humans and other species. The ability to sequence the entire human genome exponentially expands our ability to identify the contribution of genetic variation to disease risk and other phenotypic differences within the population. Information derived from this research has the potential to contribute to disease prevention, disease prediction, and personalized treatment. These scientific advances, however, raise several ethical, legal, and social challenges. Many of these challenges, including personal and societal benefits and risks, and privacy and confidentiality, are mirrored in the current professional and public debate about the perceived conflict between personal autonomy, privacy, and confidentiality, and the potential value of sharing genomic information within the family.