Poking Holes in Genetic Privacy

“Poking Holes in Genetic Privacy.” By Gina Kolata, The New York Times.

Not so long ago, people who provided DNA in the course of research studies were told that their privacy was assured. Their DNA sequences were on publicly available Web sites, yes, but they did not include names or other obvious identifiers. These were research databases, scientists said, not like the forensic DNA banks being gathered by the F.B.I. and police departments. But geneticists nationwide have gotten a few rude awakenings, hints that research subjects in fact could sometimes be identified by their DNA alone, or even by the way their cells were using their DNA.

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