NO ONE can be really anonymous, because DNA tests such as Ancestry and 23andMe destroy privacy, experts warn
- Experts gathered to discuss the distribution of kits that collect, analyze and change DNA
- Professionals say the technology legally marks the start of a slippery slope
- They worry that gEnetic genealogy will be used to investigate less serious crimes
- It can pave the way for the disclosure of private genetic information
The popularity of gene test kits and the prominence of genetic analysis run counter to privacy and means that true anonymity can be a luxury no one offers, experts claim.
A panel of leading spirits gathered at Harvard Law School earlier this month to discuss the ramifications of the spread of technologies that collect and analyze DNA.
DNA is examined at home, with kits such as AncestryDNA, 23andMe and a large number of other companies that now offer to parse your genetic code for a fee.
They warned of the dangers of genetic snooping to become the new way to invade privacy and how someone's identity can now be put together with relative ease.
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A group of medical researchers has suggested that the best way to protect genetic information is that more people deposit their DNA in a larger database. Many people are concerned about the privacy of their data collected by genetic testing websites (stock image)
The panel wondered how the audience would respond, for example if they heard that a candidate has genes linked to risk taking or schizophrenia, although having a gene for a condition does not necessarily mean you have it will develop.
They have also looked at issues that affect ordinary people, including the erosion of anonymity, especially when it comes to sperm donation.
DNA analysis also has the potential to pave the way for the extremely private genetic information of high-profile people who routinely find their way into the public domain.
That can expose everyone from celebrities, royals and other public figures, political candidates and even potential prime ministers and presidents on a rather incomprehensible scale.
DNA analysis was used to capture the Golden State Killer, a serial killer who killed 13 people in California between the years 1974 and 1986.
He was caught controversially when researchers used DNA to search for possible suspects by using a genealogy website.
An old DNA sample from a crime scene corresponded to the DNA of the murderer's relatives in public databases that led to him.
Although most would like to help find a murderer, there are concerns that this could only be the start of the use of commercial genetics services by the police to investigate other, less serious crimes.
The team says that creating a huge database would improve people's protection by making the system more regulated. They say that having a larger library is more regulated and contains a more limited collection of data than reports from consumer surveys (Stock image)
Professor Jessica Roberts from the University of Houston in Texas told New scientist that the case of two fighting billionaires could put an end to the escalating issue.
For years, Canadian businessman Harold Peerenboom and Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter have been arguing about control over country club tennis courts.
This was fueled by a subsequent hate campaign, which led Mr. Peerenboom to suspect Mr. Perlmutter was behind it.
To find out if this was the case, Mr. Peerenboom worked with his lawyers to get a sample of Perlmutter & # 39; s DNA from a water bottle that he used during a deposition.
The judge ruled that Mr. Perlmutter had a reasonable right to believe that his genetic information on the lip of a water bottle was not secretly wiped.
He also said that this robbed him of his & # 39; s property rights, ownership, control and privacy, according to the case documents.
WHAT IS DNA?
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a complex chemical in almost all organisms that contain genetic information.
It is located in chromosomes in the cell nucleus and almost every cell in a person's body has the same DNA.
It is composed of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T).
The structure of the double helix DNA is derived from adenine binding with thymine and cytosine binding with guanine.
Human DNA consists of three billion bases and more than 99 percent of it is the same in all people.
The order of the bases determines what information is available for maintaining an organism (similar to the way letters of the alphabet form sentences).
The DNA bases form a combination with each other and also attach to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule, combining them into a nucleotide.
These nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral, called a double helix.
The double helix resembles a ladder with the base pairs that form the rungs and the sugar and phosphate molecules form vertical side pieces.
A new form of DNA was recently discovered in living human cells.
With the name i-motif the shape looks like a twisted & # 39; node & # 39; of the DNA instead of the known double helix.
The function of the i-motif is unclear, but experts believe it can be to & # 39; read & # 39; read & # 39; and convert it into usable substances.
Source: US National Library of Medicine
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