100,000 invited to post their genomes online – in the name of science
2013 11 07

From: RT



A hundred thousand British volunteers could have their genetic information available to anyone in the world. Some scientists warn the Personal Genome Project may be a step too far for confidentiality.

The project is US-based and allows people to find out more about their genetic profiles, plus contribute to advances in medical science. Volunteers from America and Canada have already joined the project.

To participate, people have to be at least 18 years old and understand the risks and benefits when they apply online. They fill out a detailed health history and complete a 19-page consent form.

They will later get their genome analysis and have a four-week "cooling off" period before deciding if they want their data to go online, Reuters reported.

Discovering the role of the genetic code may help to battle complex diseases like cancer, or discover why some people have special traits like perfect musical pitch, according to Stephan Beck, professor of medical genomics at the UCL Cancer Institute and director of the British project.

The project aims to sequence 50 people’s genomes, the 3 billion chemical pairings that make up human DNA, in the first year of the project.

The volunteers will be warned of possible implications, as there are a few challenges that the project faces, and the main one is ethical.

The genome gives a person’s entire genetic information, and revealing the data could also disclose the presence of yet undetected illnesses or elevated risks of developing conditions like Alzheimer’s.

Another controversy is that an open-access DNA database could trigger fraudulent use of people’s information.
Scientists are also cautious about the project.

"GeneWatch UK’s view is that people should think twice before agreeing to share their genome openly. Remember your DNA contains a unique genetic code which can be used to track you and identify your relatives. Stored online it will be accessible to police, security and border agencies based in any country," Helen Wallace, of GeneWatch British non-profit group specializing in genetics, told The Guardian.

[...]

Read the full article at: rt.com



Those volunteering will be warned about the implications for their own privacy and that of their families, according to Stephan Beck, professor of medical genomics at the UCL Cancer Institute and director of the British project.

To enroll, participants will have to be aged at least 18 and pass an online exam to check they understand the risks and benefits. After getting an analysis of their genome, they will also have a four-week "cooling off" period before deciding whether they want their data to go online.

[...]

Since the first human-genome map was unveiled in 2000, some 25,000 people around the world have had their genomes sequenced - but just a fraction of this genetic information is publicly available for all scientists to scrutinize.

In the United States, Church has signed up some 3,000 volunteers for his open-access project, with a few hundred more in Canada, although only around 200 full genomes have yet been sequenced.

He predicted genome sequencing will speed up as the cost continues to fall dramatically - it has come down from $1 billion 20 years ago to a few thousand dollars today.
Source




READ: Oops: Widespread Human DNA Contamination Seen in Genome Databases

AND: Government Genome Project to Sequence DNA of All US Babies at Birth





Related Articles
For sale: Your most intimate secrets... thanks to the national NHS database
Meet SIBIOS: Argentina’s Massive, Orwellian Biometric Database
Warrantless DNA Testing: Why A National DNA Database Is On The Horizon
Database Your Face: Drones to Employ Facial Recognition, Ending Anonymity
Creating a Surveillance and DNA Database for Every American . . . From the Cradle to the Grave
FBI Wants a Database of Your Tattoos
Personal Genomes Could Soon Be Public Information


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »