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Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Science, Technology |

I know your genome and want your money

I know your genome and want your money

Since the sequencing of the human costs of genetic tests are much cheaper and will do. This is a breakthrough for disease diagnosis and research. But it also raises a fundamental problem: our genetic data will be safe or may fall into the hands of criminals? Sure you will not be misused? Should we make new laws?

Just take a look at Google (deliberately not put any links) to find companies that allow us to analyze our DNA. Today there are many but the number is growing. They analyze a sample of our fabric, usually hard, and we return a report with a set of genetic markers found in our . The greater the number of markers analyzed, higher price. Today ranging between 200 and 1000 dollars.

What is the method? Internet request and paid for the test and the company sent us a kit. This contains a swab (similar to clean the ears) to scrape under the tongue slightly, then put in an envelope and send it back to the company. This sends the report in a few days. Simple right?

Why use these DNA test? Today they have three uses preferred. They can be used for a paternity test which can be legal or private. They can be used to detect a set of conditions that are genetically predisposed. Finally, compared with other population groups, help us to know where our ancestors are from: Northern Europe, Central Asia …

Misuse of data circulating on the Internet is a constant source of news: impersonation, spam and other cyber crimes many varied malicious use. Control mechanisms, but the battle is ongoing. Genetic Can crimes occur are given as cyber?

Up to this reality, but let fly a little imagination.

If the DNA test our pharmacist recommended us, then we can suggest what we need against obesity and the risk of stroke. We became a client of his in what is called cross-selling.

In paternity testing not only our data sent. Also the other person, our supposed son. The following is taken from a website that offers these services.

In this type of testing is concerned the taking of DNA samples to the participants, when and where they see fit. Just tell us where you want us to send you the sampling kit discreetly.

Mmm. A sample of my supposed son who lives with me and I suspect not. What if he does not live with me but lives in another house but I suspect it’s mine?

What if by some means get the saliva sample from another person? I can find out if you are susceptible to genetic diseases. That today. In a few years??

The cheapening of DNA analysis techniques is accelerated. In a few years we will be able to sequence the entire genome of a person for less than $ 1,000. The land for the crime gene begins to be tempting.

We are sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal with some fossils we find, for example teeth or bones that are tens of thousands of years. The police found traces of DNA at the crime scene and matches them with the suspect.

Now commercial kits use saliva, but almost any human cell counts. For example the hair. A look at one of these pages puts the willies: liquid blood, blood stains, hair roots, butts, gum, toothpick or dental floss, wax ear cleaning, semen, electric shaving debris, nails, pads or even underwear. Not everything is as simple and cheap, but it is a current catalog.

Speaking of semen, remember the famous case of Monica Lewinsky. It was President Bill Clinton’s intern and in the process against him seguiƃ³ provided solid proof: a dress that had kept unwashed and containing semen stains that analyzes confirmed as belonging to the president. The use of biological remains pertencientes others is not new.

No less important is to use a butt or a gum is perfectly legal as it is left in the public domain.

I can get a hair? Someone? How a famous, like Justin Bieber, a politician like Hugo Chavez or the Pope of Rome himself? How much would a criminal organization to seize a hair of a Rockefeller or Obama? Sequencing the genome of either is now possible but expensive. In the near future will be very, very cheap.

In future our genetic data can be used in many ways. To get a job. To access to health insurance. In the case of athletes to ensure performance. Think about it and new uses will occur to you.

And most glassy all cloning. In 2005, South Korean scientist Hwang Wook-Suk announced the results of a human cloning which turned out to be a fraud. The human cloning for reproductive purposes is banned in the world. But therapeutic cloning is accepted in some places. It is genetically identical embryos get a sick person to be able to extract embryonic stem cells compatible.

The law should accommodate and companies that currently offer DNA testing services ensure data confidentiality. But what if this information falls into the hands of unscrupulous individuals or criminal organizations? Will Justin Bieber to watch all biological remains an unhealthy zeal to not risk having thousands of clones?

Of course, part of what is written above belongs to science fiction. Find methods to live among secure genetically just as we should not worry about our in exes in the network or stored in our passwords obsessively. Minds at ease. Or not?

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