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13,000 Volunteer To Put Personal Genomes Online

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the will-c0de-for-f00d dept.

Biotech 126

Lucas123 writes "The Personal Genome Project, which opened itself up to the public on April 25, has to date signed up 13,000 of the target 100,000 volunteers needed to create the world's first publicly accessible genome database. Volunteers will go through a battery of written tests and then offer DNA samples from which their genetic code will be derived and then published to help scientists discover links between genes and hereditary traits. While the Personal Genome Project won't publish names, just about everything else will be made public, including photos and complete medical histories. Scientists hope to some day have millions of genomes in the database."

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I once put my genome online (4, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996495)

I was surfing The Hun and accidentally put some of my genome on my keyboard.

Thank goodness for Purell and Kleenex.

Re:I once put my genome online (2, Funny)

rcamans (252182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000363)

You know, we all thank you for your selfless efforts to personally finance the Purell and Kleenex industries. We applaud your heroic efforts, and call upon you to greater heights of achievement.

Genome? (4, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996541)

Is there a similar project for KayDE?

Re:Genome? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996745)

You will never meet someone who has XfcY.

Re:Genome? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996781)

Aw crap I failed, wrong chromosome. I'll take my hat and leave....

Re:Genome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27997639)

I, on the other hand, put on my robe and wizard hat...

Re:Genome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27998353)

You'll never meet someone who has XXfce, you know that right?

bit late (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996555)

its a bit late,

google images already says there are 286,000 pictures of gnomes already online.

http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=garden%20gnome [google.co.uk] Results 1 - 20 of about 286,000

Re:bit late (4, Funny)

castorvx (1424163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27999373)

... Results 1 - 20 of about 286,000

I decided to verify your research.

Results 1 - 20 of about 298,000

OH MY GOD THEY'RE MULTIPL-*CONNECTION LOST*

Re:bit late (0, Troll)

rcamans (252182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000395)

Shouldn't you leave your father out of this?

Data Control (5, Insightful)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996597)

Just who is going to control these kinds of databases and prevent the misuse of the data? Once a condition or a hereditary pre-disposition is determined, a subject could be denied medical coverage for that condition. It may well be anonymous today, but that can not be guaranteed into the future.

Re:Data Control (2, Interesting)

ilblissli (1480165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996689)

who says you have to give them your real name? i personally just signed up to be involved in this project. i'll update my comments once i see what they require from you. if they want your full name and SS# yeah i'd probably assume it could be misused but if they just want a health history to go with your dna i don't see the harm in that.

Re:Data Control (3, Interesting)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996877)

Ever watch GATTACA? Think about what they coined "discrimination down to a science". Databases do not need your name to figure out majorities. If insurance companies linked a mole on the left cheekbone to a higher probability of cancer... well, maybe you'd just get the mole removed.

Nevertheless, I'm all for the advancement of science and am interested in contributing to the project. Who knows, maybe if all the pessimists advance the project, it'll be done properly.

Re:Data Control (1)

ilblissli (1480165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997377)

I'm all for the advancement of science as well. and hey, if i have to sacrifice a little in order to help future generations i'll gladly do that. i would have never joined the military if i wasn't willing to put my butt on the line for others. ;)

Re:Data Control (4, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998859)

Why don't you just scrap insurance companies and just create a public, universal health care service like the rest of the developed world? That way, they can't deny treatment.

Re:Data Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27999107)

Scrap insurance companies? Why should I when there's no direct short-term profit in it for me?

Re:Data Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27999729)

I second that. Jeezus we're backwards. Although we would have to find out something for all those insurance salesmen to do all day.

and to the fake name guy, and all the "come-on it's anonomous" people:
FACIAL RECOGNITION. Duh. Like they need your name to identify you...

Re:Data Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28001285)

Why don't you just scrap all insurance schemes, private and public, and persuade doctors to provide their services for free out of altruism?

Re:Data Control (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000267)

Hmm, good point. But you accept that the genetically unclean must be prevented from occupying sensitive posts for the greater good of the race, right?

Re:Data Control (5, Interesting)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996883)

Good point. However, if they are not asking you for information that can be used to link directly back to you, then the database is waste of time. What will stop the mis-creants from stuffing junk into the data points? What will prevent someone with a low priority condition, to submit as multiple people in an attempt to up the priority of their condition.

Re:Data Control (2, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997725)

What will prevent someone with a low priority condition, to submit as multiple people in an attempt to up the priority of their condition.

If there are only 10s of thousands of samples, it shouldn't be too tough to notice if there just happen to be a dozen people with identical genomes. That said, the techniques here are young enough that identifying sequences for anything we can seems worth-while - From heart disease to freckles. So what if a rare, 'low-priority' condition gets identified?

Re:Data Control (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996957)

Luckily, nobody else out there would have access to your medical history and a strong financial interest in knowing what your genome contains. Definitely not an insurance company or anything. And identifying somebody with date of birth, blood type, family history, several facial photos, and a bunch of other information is certainly beyond the powers of science...

Definitely not a problem.

Re:Data Control (2, Interesting)

astrashe (7452) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997735)

Do they have something on the web site about this?

My reaction when I read the story was (a) Wow, I really want to do this, and (b) what if I'm denied coverage at some point down the road because of it?

As soon as I'm really confident that I won't get burned, I'm in.

Re:Data Control (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998023)

To their credit, the participation page [personalgenomes.org] is reasonably forthright about what will be disclosed, and I'm sure that if you dig a few links deeper, you'll find more. If you really want the gory details, I'm sure that the IRB has a thick pile of documents somewhere.

Nothing they say, though, suggests any comfort with respect to denied coverage. They can't protect you and it isn't their problem. I'm predicting that the volunteer rolls will be heavy on a) wealthy futurists/futurist-wannabes, b)young techy futurist types who still feel immortal, and c) European socialist communists who don't have to worry about it.

Re:Data Control (3, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#27999027)

what if I'm denied coverage at some point down the road because of it?

It's only a matter of time.

Modern insurance policies can deny you coverage due to a pre-existing condition. It won't be long before we're able to identify all kinds of disorders and diseases with a simple genetic screening. Then we just call having a 90% chance to develop cancer a pre-existing condition, and you're screwed.

It is going to happen.

Re:Data Control (1)

NearlyHeadless (110901) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000181)

It won't be long before we're able to identify all kinds of disorders and diseases with a simple genetic screening. Then we just call having a 90% chance to develop cancer a pre-existing condition, and you're screwed.

There is a law against that [genome.gov] that just went into effect.

Also, people don't actually have that many lethal genes. There's the whole natural selection thing going on.

Re:Data Control (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000347)

"The law does not cover life insurance, disability insurance and long-term care insurance." And, if that is the website one liner, I'm guessing that there might be a few other little areas of wiggle room. You can generally find a reason.

As for lethal genes, people don't have many that kick in before/during reproductive maturity. You then have another 30-45 years that you might like to live; but for which selective pressures have historically been a good deal weaker.

Re:Data Control (1)

rcamans (252182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000551)

Recently a woman was denied an insurance payout on her husband's death (he was gunned down) because he had a pre-existing medical condition which had nothing to do with the shooting death.
Insurance companies are in the business of screwing you.

Re:Data Control (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28001109)

I don't think they'd pull the "chance of getting cancer card," nor would they need to with all the real genetic disorders [wikipedia.org] out there. In fact, I'd wager heavily that *everyone* has a genetic disorder of some kind, even the disorder itself hasn't been identified yet. Put another way, nobody's perfect.

Re:Data Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27997079)

"...photos..."

Anonymous Shnonymous (2, Interesting)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996867)

Putting your genetic composition online is pretty much uhm... identifying yourself.

Given a name and an entire frickin gene sequence... I'd more quickly rely on the latter for identifying an individual.

Who knows... maybe at some point there will be software that can generate a speculative image of a person baed on the data in genes.

Re:Data Control (5, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996975)

'It may well be anonymous today, but that can not be guaranteed into the future.'

It's not that anonymous even today:

'While volunteers won't have their names published with their genomic information, Church said the subjects are completely aware that anyone familiar with them can deduct from the photos and background information who they are.'

Some early volunteers in the pilot program have gone even further than this, and explicitly linked their names to the public data.

Re:Data Control (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997351)

Like it or not, keeping your DNA private is just about as difficult as keeping your face private. All it takes is a hair follicle or skin cell, and you leave a trail of those everywhere you go. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but there it is.

Re:Data Control (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997643)

I'd say "Hello, Waff", but he'd be more discrete out among the Powindah.

Re:Data Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27999279)

While that is all true, want to come here and collect my DNA sample and upload my specs to some data base? No?

Everybody's allowed to do whatever they please, some of those things just don't make too much sense.

Re:Data Control (1)

geekdom04 (933714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28002173)

At least I'm not dropping my follicles all over the internet where anyone within a worldwide radius can get to it.

Chicken or egg? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997007)

Once a condition or a hereditary pre-disposition is determined, a subject could be denied medical coverage for that condition

Without gathering a significant number of genomes, how could anyone identify which illnesses are hereditary, much less try to find a cure?

I'm willing to bet that in the next 30 years we will have "personal drugs" tailored to a specific genome made by a desktop machine.

Re:Chicken or egg? (0)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997467)

And still, we will not have any "drugs" that actually heal people. They will still just make you depend on them, because they only take away the symptoms for just until you have to take the next pill.

People, please realize this: Nearly all health problems are better prevented than fixed later. Most of the time it's way easier too. But species-appropriate food and sports are so uncool, right? Sometimes I wonder, why we geeks aren't the one with the most perfectly running, properly maintained bodies. After all, our beloved computers can't hold a candle to the impressive perfection of our bodies, in terms of advanced technology.

How about seeing it like this: Imagine some aliens would land here, desperately in need for someone to tune and hack their extremely advanced robots and computers. You would notice that they were somehow wet and soft, and so totally different, that it would give you tinkering and optimizing fun for many lives. Would you do it? I think: Hell yeah!
Well, you body is not far away from such machines. You got such a machine, to do with it what you like. And you can also get another one, to produce even more of them, if you do it right.
Now if that isn't impressive, then I do not know what is...

Re:Chicken or egg? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000147)

People, please realize this: Nearly all health problems are better prevented than fixed later. Most of the time it's way easier too. But species-appropriate food and sports are so uncool, right?

Eat healthy, stay fit, die anyway.

Re:Data Control (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27997291)

Just who is going to control these kinds of databases and prevent the misuse of the data?

Isn't that the exact opposite of the point?

That is, isn't the objective of this project to gather data from people who have given their informed consent to 'open-sourcing' their medical data, in order to free researchers from the burdens imposed by working with non-open-source data?

Once a condition or a hereditary pre-disposition is determined, a subject could be denied medical coverage for that condition. It may well be anonymous today, but that can not be guaranteed into the future.

This project isn't anonymous now, and doesn't claim to be! That's the point - genetic data with medical histories and photographs alongside.

If, in the future, medical insurers decide to discriminate based on genetic tests, they won't just do it for the 13,000 people in this database; they'll require testing for every person applying for insurance. And if that happens, we can legislate against it - if we as a society want to.

Re:Data Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27997311)

Stop spreading these lies! You cannot be denied coverage in America because of your genetics!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_Information_Nondiscrimination_Act

|| The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (Pub.L. 110-233, 122 Stat. 881, enacted May 21, 2008, GINA), is an Act of Congress in the United States designed to prohibit the improper use of genetic information in health insurance and employment. The Act prohibits group health plans and health insurers from denying coverage to a healthy individual or charging that person higher premiums based solely on a genetic predisposition to developing a disease in the future. The legislation also bars employers from using individuals' genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decisions. [1] Senator Ted Kennedy called it the "first major new civil rights bill of the new century" [2] The Act contains amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974[3] and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.[4]

Re:Data Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27998133)

Which works until we get:

|| The Genetic Information Rediscrimination Act of 2012, is an Act of Congress in the United States which repeals The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 until such a time as the health insurance companies stop paying. The legislation also bars anyone from questioning the powers of congress.[1] Senator Samuel Wurzelbacher called it the "greatest weapon we have in the wars on drugs, poverty, and common sense" [2] The Act contains amendments to the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 [3] and the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act of 1998.[4]

Re:Data Control (4, Informative)

Autumnmist (80543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997723)

That's why the US has GINA [genome.gov] (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008).

Whether it'll actually work is a separate issue. One of the points of this project is that trying to keep your genetic information private is a losing battle and that it might be better/neutral to just be open about it.

Re:Data Control (1)

omris (1211900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27999307)

Besides, insurance companies have become experts at denying coverage. They are: 1. legally obligated not to discriminate based on genetic information, and 2. totally unhindered by that fact. Why would they bother to start trying to use genetics when they can pay a few doctors to write letters explaining why your requested procedure isn't medically necessary? It seems to work pretty well for them.

Re:Data Control (1)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997937)

Once a condition or a hereditary pre-disposition is determined, a subject could be denied medical coverage for that condition.

I can't believe this could even be an issue. Why don't your lawmakers make it illegal for those responsible for financing medical care to discriminate against people with illnesses?

Re:Data Control (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003279)

I can't believe this could even be an issue. Why don't your lawmakers make it illegal for those responsible for financing medical care to discriminate against people with illnesses?

Because at any given time, most voters either are, or think that they are, healthy; thus they're pretty receptive to arguments that eliminating pre-existing condition restrictions would raise their own costs. Basically, nobody who's healthy wants to pay for anybody else's healthcare.

Of course, when those people get sick it's a different story. But as long as there are more people who think they're healthy than people who are sick, the 'healthy' people discriminate against the 'sick' ones.

As the population ages, however, more people have moved from 'healthy' to 'sick' (or at least from seeing health insurance as a cost center to be minimized, to a profit center that they benefit from), and there's beginning to be a corresponding shift in attitudes with regards to insurance. Exactly how far this shift in attitudes will go and what the actual political effect of it will be, remains to be seen. I am personally quite doubtful that it will amount to much of anything beyond a tweaking of the system already in existence, but I'm admittedly hugely cynical about the political process in the U.S.

Re:Data Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27998159)

Forget misuse. Who is going to check this freely shared personal information isn't going to be used to register outrageous patents ?
Our DNA is open source as it gets (readable to everyone with the right equipment, but poorly documented), do we really want to help the people who would encumber it with patents ?

Re:Data Control (1)

rcamans (252182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000429)

Don't worry. Slashdotters do not have to worry, as video game addiction, pron addiction, and living in yo momma's basement are not genetic defects. Are they? Oh,Ohhh

Re:Data Control (1)

rcamans (252182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000503)

Hey, if slashdotters contributed, maybe they could find cures to these diseases. Oh, wait, there's that aversion to sunlight. I think I first heard of it in the H.G. Wells movie "Time Machine".

Already seen this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27996659)

In wired magazine about 5 months ago..

I for one! (2, Funny)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996829)

Am I the only one who read: 13,000 Volunteer To Put Personal Gnomes Online ??

Imagine an army of garden gnomes.. Well, I for one! Oh, forget it.

Re:I for one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27998185)

Am I the only one who read: 13,000 Volunteer To Put Personal Gnomes Online ??

Imagine an army of garden gnomes.. Well, I for one! Oh, forget it.

I was going to Digg you up, but you told me to forget it.

Re:I for one! (2, Funny)

ashtophoenix (929197) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998687)

I knew this would happen from the start of this Personal Gnome Thing.

Open Source People! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996851)

It's quite the logical extension of the project after all! Finally we can have a REAL gnome interface!

Re:Open Source People! (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997285)

Given enough genomes, all people are shallow.

The genome is out there (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27996871)

Didn't the alien conspiracy already do this?

GATTACA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27996887)

Did I hear someone say GATTACA?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/

Great film, wrong conclusions (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997975)

Although I love GATTACA, that film had a faulty reasoning.

Assuming a science so advanced people could be programmed from conception to have six fingers and become superb pianists, the same technology level would allow people to correct their genetic shortcomings. For instance, we already have Lasik to correct imperfect eyesight such as the protagonist in the film had.

Technology works both ways, if it's so advanced it lets someone find genetic "imperfections" it can also be used to mask them.

Re:Great film, wrong conclusions (1)

kaputtfurleben (818568) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998183)

Wasn't it the case that genes could only be identified, and not controlled?

Re:Great film, wrong conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27999507)

I thought it was because he was born "naturally" - that is, they conceived and let him grow without so much as an ultrasound, when the norm in civilization is to have a GM foetus implanted once a couple wants children.
Same with the other lowlevel cleaners etc.

The film must also present some "limits" on what they can do, otherwise everybody would start to share the same "perfect gene set" and then you'd end up with a monoculture.

Re:Great film, wrong conclusions (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27999839)

Technology works both ways, if it's so advanced it lets someone find genetic "imperfections" it can also be used to mask them.

Necessity is the mother of invention.
If almost no one had bad eye sight, we'd never have invented Lasik.

If we identify and eliminate all of the "bad heart" genes, we might never figure out how to make artificial hearts.

Re:Great film, wrong conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27999883)

If you want stupid genetics tricks, watch Saber Marionette J... a spacefaring culture so advanced they could populate an entire planet for multiple generations by cloning the original handful of spacewreck survivors, but they couldn't duplicate an X chromosome so they could have a female.

Re:Great film, wrong conclusions (2, Interesting)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000379)

No, I think their reasoning is perfectly sound.
In the movie, there are those who choose not to undergo genetic modification for their child, and have it born as is.
There's also the corporate slant; All this modification costs. How much? As much as people can afford (c.f. the US education system). The thing that then differentiates people is the extent of their modifications, and the efficacy of them. The complete set of high flying mods would cost more than most could afford. The middling mods would be aimed at the general populace, and the basic would be aimed at the 'budget' market. Probably just enough to get rid of the susceptability to cancer, heart defects etc. Nothing to add brain/muscle/lifespan.
Seeing as there's a resource, and only so many places that'll be licensed, you really think they'll give it all away for free?

Ban This War Criminal's Sample: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27997055)

because he is the world's most dangerous [whitehouse.org] .

Yours In Socialism,
Kilgore Trout

Re:Ban This War Criminal's Sample: (0, Flamebait)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27999501)

a thoughtcriminal! please report to the nearest ACLU office for reeducation. have a shovel and warm socks with you.

Where's the beef? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27997145)

PGP #1 has no medical history? Absurd.

And your "DNA Score" is next. (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997179)

And insurance companies start to tag you according to your DNA/vulnerability score. Watch what happens when they will be able determine that you have Alzheimer's related genes in your DNA.

Re:And your "DNA Score" is next. (2, Insightful)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997309)

So let's get rid of insurance companies and start insuring everyone? I know I know that is like a whole other can of worm, but while this (slashdot) is a US based website, personal genome project is a world wide project, and large majority of the world doesn't have insurance or preconsidition problem. Why keep pointing this issue out when it fairly localized? I am a canadian, and I will be fairly happy if they know more about how to treat me.

An erudite photo caption (1)

kopo (890010) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997293)

The article contains an image of a pile of chromosomes, and the caption reads

The X and Y chromosomes that make up a genome.

Believe it or not, X and Y chromosomes aren't the only ingredients...

Names not needed (3, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997431)

While the Personal Genome Project won't publish names, just about everything else will be made public [...]

Why do we need the names? Just take the genome data and use it to concoct an unholy abomination, mocking the laws of God and man, making a soulless clone of the person in question, rousing the populace to chase you down with torches and pitchforks in an attempt to stop pure genius their pitifully small minds could never truly understand, and just ASK what his/her name is?

Re:Names not needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27997651)

OMG Craig Venter the ubergenius reads /.!

License it under Creative Commons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27997585)

screw over the patent trolls

We alredy know.. (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27997935)

... the make-up of J Craig Venter's genome, as he used himself for human DNA in the first draft. It doesn't seem to have hurt him too much to have that information out.

Although indeed if the US would at least catch up to 1960's era Europe and institute universal single-payer health care, I would be much quicker to volunteer for this. Unfortunately as others have pointed out there is abundant opportunity for our for-profit insurance companies to abuse this information to make our lives more difficult (and more expensive to boot).

Re:We alredy know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27999071)

Oh, the soooo naive slashdotters...almost as bad as the general sheeple and joe/jane sixpack.

First, see the movie Gattica. There are already court cases of genetic discrimination. It's going to get worse...despite all the nice sounding laws to the contrary.

Why? Well, what protects you at the moment, is the huge amount of time and money it takes to do a sequence.
(i.e. about 2 months, and $100,000 at the moment.)

This 'problem' is going to disappear. What do you think insurance companies, employers, HR depts, governments, etc. are going to do when it only takes 8 HOURS and $100 to do a sequence? Guess what, it's happening...:
http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/20640/ [technologyreview.com]
http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?ch=specialsections&sc=tr10&id=22112 [technologyreview.com]

Or just google "$100 genome"
It's going to get much, much worse, far, far sooner than any of you believe.

Re:We alredy know.. (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27999783)

Good job of not reading my post. I guess that is why you posted AC, because you didn't want anything resembling a name to be associated with your paranoia and spin.

For starters, I already stated that

insurance companies

Need to disappear. The idiotic for-profit megabuck healthcare system we have in the US is not ethical or sustainable. We can learn from what other countries have been doing for 50 years and implement single-payer, universal health care; and then the worries about genetic-based health care fee structure discrimination should be addressed.

employers, HR depts

If you employer wants to can you - or not hire you to begin with - they'll find a mechanism. Genetic testing is pretty irrelevant in that matter.

governments

Can you find an example of governments doing something nefarious with genetic data? I didn't think so. If you want to wear a tinfoil hat, feel free to do so; but don't try to convince us it is a normal thing to do.

Or just google "$100 genome"

You are free to fear it if you want. However I feel it is a good thing. This is similar to what the Archon X prize will be someday awarded for and as a scientist I think that is a very noble competition. However as a biochemist I am not aware of any technology available at this moment that makes that level of completion possible in that little time and money.

Re:We alredy know.. (1)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28001237)

Sure, you're a biochemist. That's nice.

But this guy's seen a movie about the FUTURE (and he almost spelled it right too)!

Sooo naive.

open DNA? (1)

Ingcuervo (1349561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998007)

ok, so here is when MS officers assure that those with online published DNA are tottaly unsecured entities and they are easily hacked, just reading the "code" and attacking vulnerabilities

James Watson had 20 bad genes (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998087)

The discoverer of the structure of DNA was the 3rd person fully sequenced. 20 of his genes appear in the bad gene database (@5000 entries). None of these have been expressed yet at his ripe old age of 80+.

Sergey Brin is worries about finding a Parkison's gene in his genome. But he doesnt need to be overly worried.

Re:James Watson had 20 bad genes (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998163)

Genetics is still in its infancy. We don't know how or why genes are expressed!

Re:James Watson had 20 bad genes (2, Interesting)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998971)

"The" discoverer of the structure of DNA was a group of seven people three of whom won a Nobel prize for it .. Watson, Crick, Wilkins, Stokes ,Wilson, Franklin and Gosling

Rosalind Franklin died of Cancer before she could be nominated for the Nobel prize ...

Personally... (0, Redundant)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998097)

My opinion is simple: Pay me a figure with at least 6 zeros behind them or fuck off.

Re:Personally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27999149)

you mean like 0000001?

Re:Personally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28000159)

Don't silly.
He means:
0.0000001

Facial recognition (2, Interesting)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998137)

And in other news, Apple and others are mainstreaming the use of software to recognize faces, so the omission of names from the database is really a laughable gesture towards privacy. These folks are taking a risk, for sure. But hey, no risk, no rewards. I applaud them.

Terrible Idealism - Quit it, Hippies! (1)

jr76 (1272780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998283)

Ok, as a person who has done DNA tests for himself and believes in the value for people working together on this, I believe this is just terrible.

People value their privacy, and for DNA research to make progress, they need as many people involved as possible, which has not been done yet. Less than 0.0000001% of the world has had their DNA tested. So, for that to be able to be done, their privacy needs to be ensured. People, being concerned about identity theft, use of their own information for negative purposes, etc, run for the hills when being brought about DNA tests today because they believe it's the ultimate in risk for that, to do such testing.

So, the geniuses doing this want to enhance their fears by playing right into it, by exposing everything about themselves as part of this?

For ALL MANKIND, it is best to get into a method of keeping high security over DNA testing, revealing absolutely nothing to anyone who they don't approve of (normally specific scientists, researchers and doctors) so that we can start testing as many people as possible with every genetically-related condition on the planet, so we can find ways to prevent and eliminate them fully.

This is about as wrong as possible, in light of that.

One byte for base pair (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998881)

TFA states they need one byte per base pair resulting in 6 gigabytes per subject.

My guess is there is a huge sequences of duplicates so compressions could probably bring this number down quite a bit.

Also, since a byte can store 256 distinct values would it be able to handle more then just one base pair.

Re:One byte for base pair (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27999335)

Since there are four different bases, you need two bits to store a pair, which means you could get 4 bases into a byte without using any non-trivial compression method.
But given that the genomes of different people are very similar, they should already save a lot of memory by storing just diffs to a "standard" genome (say, the sequence from the Humane Genome Project).

Re:One byte for base pair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28000975)

One of us might be confused to the nature of data storage.

I think you can express four unique items with a minimum of 2 bits, thus a pair would be a 4 bits.
Or you could number each pair which would give us 16 unique items. Which would take 4 bits too...

Feel free to show me how you get 4 items in one bit.

Plural? (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998931)

Isn't the plural of "volunteer", "volunteers"?

Re:Plural? (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27999261)

Isn't the plural of "volunteer", "volunteers"?

For the noun, yes. For the verb, no.

He is...the Most Interesting Man in the World (1)

Naked Jaybird (1190469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27998937)

Scientists look at his DNA, just to admire a job well done.

Backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27999175)

Can I use it for a backup, so when I get old and my genome becomes damaged I could revert the changes?

Question for the geneticists (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28000377)

How many people must be sequenced until there is enough genetic coverage to interpolate?

I mean, I have a certain genetic code, and I share a good deal of that genetic code with my mother and father, right? And my siblings and I have similarities as well, I assume.

Using similar methods to those that we use for DNA testing of maternity or paternity, how many people in a given group must have their genes sequenced before you could, say, have a 50% chance of getting a match on a given bloodstain or fingernail at a crime scene (or get something close enough that a court would allow the police to go fishing for more DNA, do interviews, etc...)?

If the answer is "all of them," then perhaps genetic sequencing is relatively innocuous to us as a whole. Individuals can make the choice to be sequenced and it can be their exercise of Free Will to do so. But if the answer is "only a small percentage," then that means that these individual actions of persons today could have far-reaching consequences for generations of people to come.

Having control over one's own actions and own body has been an important right in many cultures; how strange it would be for us to have propelled science to a point that our personal actions could have such a devastating effect on our progeny and relatives, essentially robbing them of a piece of their personal privacy by giving up some of our own.

Re:Question for the geneticists (1)

fusellovirus (1386571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28001279)

The number of people that must be sequenced to interpolate data on a disease depends on what the prevalence of that disease is in the population. A disease like xeroderma pigmentosum is quite rare and would require hundreds of thousands of genomes, while something more common like the BRCA1 gene mutation that leads to a susceptibility to some breast cancers would take 10 to 100 times fewer.

In reality however, each individual has unique mutations that may or may not effect their susceptibility to disease or ability to live a long life, and each new genome we sequence adds to our ability to correlate genes to disease. Indeed, individual actions of persons today could have far-reaching consequences for generations of people to come, particularly for their own progeny.

To have coverage so that 50% of criminals could be identified would require two components, a genome database and a relative database that distinguishes individuals related by blood rather than by marriage. The completeness of each database would determine the exact numbers needed. That being said I don't think I would submit my personal genome to the database with the current uncertainty of personal protection and the state of the health care industry.

And a million years from now... (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28001311)

...they will come alive to mine zikspot in the torture mines the evil lord emperor Zarguf runs on the planet zzebildiz!

Re:And a million years from now... (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28002169)

Hey, sounds cool. You should start a religion...eh, cult about that. Worked for Scientology, might work for you as well.

Why the pictures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28002131)

What's the point of the pictures? Since participants are clearly identifiable from their pictures, are the pictures intended to strongly imply that the data really can not (and won't) be kept anonymous? Are they intended to dupe a gullible public into donating their data, while maintaining a "backdoor" method for identifying everyone? If the pictures are so important, why didn't everyone in the first 10 participants have their picture taken with the ruler on their forehead? What kind of example does the 54-year old project lead, George Church, set by having a blank medical history?

How long does sequencing take nowadays? (1)

engineerofsorts (692517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28002149)

It seems like the initial human genome sequencing took several years, ending back in 2003 or thereabouts. Just how fast is the process nowadays? I trust, if they plan to sequence DNA from tens of thousands of individuals, it must be multiple orders of magnitude faster than what the original sequencing took????

Re:How long does sequencing take nowadays? (1)

jr76 (1272780) | more than 5 years ago | (#28002449)

People are not aware that there is no complete gene sequencing available to the masses yet.

I do believe you could get a private study to do yourself entirely, at around $200,000 if you had that much money to burn. At the rate progress is occurring, in 2-8 years full sequences will be possible for most people (at somewhat of a premium price).

Regardless, 99% of our genes are identical, so what's done now, focusing on the 1% that fairly rapidly mutates (every~100-500yrs), is almost all of what people will find different when they do the entire genome. We'll only catch the extremely unexpected and be highly more accurate when we do the whole thing.
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