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Scientists To Post Individuals' DNA Sequences To Web 219

isBandGeek() writes "With shocking disregard to their personal privacy, at least 10 people volunteered to release their entire medical records and DNA sequences in order to get their DNA decoded and analyzed. 'They include Steven Pinker, the prominent Harvard University psychologist and author, Esther Dyson, a trainee astronaut and Misha Angrist, an assistant professor at Duke University. They have each donated a piece of skin to the project at Harvard University and agreed to have the results posted on the internet. The three are among the first 10 volunteers in the Personal Genome Project, a study at Harvard University Medical School aimed at challenging the conventional wisdom that the secrets of our genes are best kept to ourselves. The goal of the project is to speed medical research by dispensing with the elaborate precautions traditionally taken to protect the privacy of human subjects."

California Expands DNA Identification Policies 42

The Los Angeles Times is reporting on a new California policy to match the DNA of suspected criminals to the criminal's family members in order to use them as investigative leads. Use of partial DNA matching is drawing fire over privacy concerns from citizens and law experts. FBI officials are hesitating as well, though their concern is that the courts will not accept such techniques. Quoting: "The policy, which takes effect immediately, is designed to work like this: The state's crime lab will tell police about DNA profiles that come up during routine searches of California's offender database and closely resemble, but do not match, the DNA left at a crime scene. (Previously, the state refused to tell police about these partial matches.) When such partial matches do not surface or fail to produce a lead, a more customized familial search can be done in which computer software scans the database proactively for possible relatives. The software measures the chance of two people being related based on the rarity of the markers they share."

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