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National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) 2010The early diagnosis of treatable illnesses plays an ever greater role in modern medicine. Predictive genetic diagnostics in conjunction with rapidly developing analytical methods and the sequencing of entire genomes presents uncharted territory in this respect. A key task of the National Academy of Sciences is to take up such topics and problems in particular, which constitute uncharted territory for society, and present scientific recommendations for responding to them. With the statement on hand, the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech, which is the German Academy of Engineering Sciences, and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (representing the Association of German Academies of Sciences) take up a topic of both extraordinary social relevance and one that is under controversial public discussion. The statement comprehensively illuminates the broad topic of predictive genetic diagnostics from various sides. Against the backdrop of the current state of knowledge, the chances and limits of predictive genetic diagnostics are examined as well as its medical, ethical, economic and legal dimensions explored.