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Stanford, U.C. Berkeley Offer Students Genetic Testing

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the umich-law-school-watch-out dept.

Education 104

cappp writes with this snippet from Scientific American: "This week Berkeley will mail saliva sample kits to every incoming freshman and transfer student. Students can choose to use the kits to submit their DNA for genetic analysis, as part of an orientation program on the topic of personalized medicine. But U.C. Berkeley isn't the only university offering its students genetic testing. Stanford University's summer session started two weeks ago, including a class on personal genomics that gives medical and graduate students the chance to sequence their genotypes and study the results."

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Have some fun with this! (4, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843162)

Every student sample dog saliva!!

Re:Have some fun with this! (3, Funny)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843300)

"It says here you are predisposed to sniffing your own butt?"

Re:Have some fun with this! (2, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843342)

The good news is you have a healthy shiny coat, the bad news... worms.

Re:Have some fun with this! (3, Funny)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843634)

you're being silly.
what they should do is sample as many species as possible, except for human. I wonder if the test will say "species unknown" or "many many animals".

or: human DNA combined with ape DNA. "well, to tell you the truth, I'm the first one in my family to go to college and walk fully upright".

Re:Have some fun with this! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843746)

or: human DNA combined with ape DNA. "well, to tell you the truth, I'm the first one in my family to go to college and walk fully upright".

Admissions Department: "How did he get such good scores on the SATs, without opposable thumbs?"

". . . and no chewing your cud during class!"

Re:Have some fun with this! (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848246)

I think I know the punchline to that first one:

"Your water is hard, get a softener. Your dog has worms, get him shots. Your daughter's using cocaine, get her into a rehab clinic. Your wife's pregnant, it's not yours, get a lawyer. And if you don't stop jerking off, your tennis elbow will never get better!"

Re:Have some fun with this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32844024)

Every student sample dog saliva!!

Nice Fark poster reference.

So? (5, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843170)

They can choose to participate or not. Seems like a non-story to me.

Re:So? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843202)

You do realize that the story is not about privacy concerns, or anything like that, right? It's solely discussing the availability of this optional program. It's all about the scientific aspects of it, not the moral aspects.

Admissions (2, Insightful)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843254)

It's not a privacy story yet, but when they start asking for DNA samples with your admission essays you can expect the discussion to heat up here.

Re:Admissions (3, Interesting)

alfredos (1694270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843446)

Why is it that whenever DNA analysis turns up in something other than a homicide case, it seems that most people automatically thinks privacy? Of course there can be privacy implications and of course these implications are important, but are those implications so negative to counter the benefits that could be obtained?

I, for one, would love to hear what they say about my saliva. Who knows, perhaps they would come up with something funny like I should have studied marketing or something.

Re:Admissions (0)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843706)

but are those implications so negative to counter the benefits that could be obtained?

Yes, they are, because we don't even understand what those implications are yet. For all we know, your DNA could encode your weaknesses to advertising, your political inclinations, etc. That's on top of what we already know, of course.

And all those benefits, who will obtain them? Those who give out the information about themselves, or those who figure out what it means?

Re:Admissions (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843844)

Why is it that whenever DNA analysis turns up in something other than a homicide case, it seems that most people automatically thinks privacy?

Because every piece of information you voluntarily give away will inevitably end up in places you couldn't foresee, that's why.

You innocently give it to your school, and it ends up in a corporate database, or being used by the government in ways you didn't think of. The standard scenario is being denied insurance because you're predisposed to a certain illness and are therefore going to cost them money.

It's no different from all of the kids on Facebook who don't fully understand that if you broadcast everything, there can be unexpected backlashes. If you just freely hand over this kind of stuff, you have no idea of what could happen in the future.

Perhaps the most important thing is to start applying some critical reasoning to the information we give out every day, and ponder what might happen in the future. What happens when your DNA becomes mandatory?? It starts seeming like the dystopian future we've all been hoping wouldn't happen.

This kind of stuff never stays as only the reason you were told it was going to be used. So, some of us have a default position of "explain, exactly, to me why you want this, and what you're going to do with it". Would you give your saliva to Wal Mart to qualify for a discount?

I know I sound like a representative of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade, but just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean someone isn't out there trying to get you.

Re:Admissions (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844140)

Because every piece of information you voluntarily give away will inevitably end up in places you couldn't foresee, that's why.

Exactly. Once you give up information to anyone, they own and control it. You can't rescind it, ever, for any reason. The new owners of your data however can change their minds any time about who they want to sell it to or share it with. Even if they really mean it when they say your data will be private and secure, that could all change tomorrow.

If that doesn't make you think twice before clicking "I agree," then there's really no help for you.

Re:Admissions (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844334)

Assume that the I Agree button is binding on the organization that issues the agreement (whether it's binding on the person who clicked the button is an open question).

If there's a clause in that agreement that says that they can't sell your information to anybody, and they do, then they are in breach of contract. If there isn't a clause in there saying they can change the first clause without giving you a chance to say no, then they can't change the contract on you either. If they give away your info in breach of the contract, they're opening themselves up to a class-action lawsuit by everybody who's data they sold, and no organization wants to be on the receiving end of one of those. In addition, this sort of stuff could well be covered under health information disclosure laws.

Now, I'm not saying "go ahead, give away all your private info", just that it's not as clear-cut as "If you let organization A know that you have some medical condition, then your prospective employer 5 years from now will know it too." Some paranoia is healthy, but not too much.

Re:Admissions (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32845512)

When you go to a university, the school knows your name, your date of birth, your social security number, your address, much of your financial history, and your entire academic record. If you're a traditional-age student (18-year-old freshman) they know much of that information about your parents, too, with the exception of the last bit. Public release of that information would be enough to wreck your life. If you don't trust them to handle sensitive personal information, you probably shouldn't go to school there in the first place. I really don't see how genetic information is any more sensitive than the items listed above.

Re:Admissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32845888)

I know I sound like a representative of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade, but just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean someone isn't out there trying to get you.

It means that it's extremely unlikely that someone is out to get you.

Re:Admissions (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844054)

Optional is a funny word when we're talking about things like college (or job) applications. Compare:

Include an (optional) essay describing why you want to attend Stanford.

Include an (optional) DNA sample.

Might a potential applicant think that their admission prospects are affected by whether or not they include their DNA?

Re:Admissions (2, Informative)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844144)

Fortunately, this is post admissions

Re:So? (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843416)

You do realize that the story is not about privacy concerns, or anything like that, right?

Although if you look at the tags on the summary, "privacy" is right there next to "science," which means that it was the second thing the submitter thought about when choosing tags.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843704)

Also, the program isn't solely about science. TFA says one of the chief goals of the project was to spark the very personal thought process that surrounds choosing whether or not to participate. So they want their students thinking about the privacy implications that will accompany personalized medicine, along with other hot-button issues.

This is good. Maybe the kids will "be OK" and grow up with a mature and nuanced opinion on genetic testing, and how it's inevitable progress will have to be carefully integrated into our cultures and ethics, rather than paranoid kneejerkism.

Re:So? (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843432)

Depends. Sure they may choose to participate or not, but what is the university going to do with the resulting data? After all, choosing to get a physical and publishing your medical profile are very different things. Participating in university research projects means eventually the study and results are going to be published in one form or another. Protecting the students' privacy while still site unique gene sequences is a very difficult thing to do.

Re:So? (4, Informative)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843726)

The test isn't an entire DNA sequence. UCB isn't that rich. It just checks for the yes/no presence of 3 genes.

Re:So? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847110)

What's preventing UCB from storing the DNA samples of all their students until the technology becomes dirt cheap 50 years down the road?

Seven Berekley alumni went on to become head of states and another two alumni sat on the SCOTUS.

Re:So? (1)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#32847646)

What's preventing UCB or anyone else for that matter from collecting DNA from any random individual who uses their restrooms?

Re:So? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843518)

Except that teenagers are not typically concerned with privacy, or the consequences of their disclosures. Just look at Facebook for an example of this. Or the statistics regarding credit card use, debt, and default, among college students. These kids just don't know that what they are doing could have unforeseen consequences.

Furthermore, as this becomes more common place, it will eventually be seen as the accepted norm, and possibly become mandatory. Just look at the statements by young Mister Zuckerberg, regarding privacy. He believes that it's overrated and that people just don't care about it. So his company took more liberties with the personal information it possesses.

What about full body scanners at airports? You know, the ones that can "see" under clothing? One day it's optional. The next, it's mandatory. Then the systems start storing pictures for evidence in trials. Is this what we want? Where do we draw the line? How do we stop it once it gains momentum?

Science fiction has explored the consequences of genomics for decades. We're seeing many of the predicted changes begin to happen in our society. This is news. We need to think about these things, explore the possible outcomes, and determine if this is what we really want, before the unwanted changes take hold.

Re:So? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32846768)

It's optional?

I didn't know it would be optional. I may have to revise my plans down from "never flying again" back up to "probably going to stop flying soon."

I'd still prefer to fly when I need to get somewhere in a hurry, but I can't afford to fly charter, netjets, or privately, and they keep pushing the the threshold of "flying gets you there faster" to greater and greater distances, with their mandatory "inconvenience stops" and random pre-gate delays.

Re:So? (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843664)

> Seems like a non-story to me

It is an update to a previous story [slashdot.org] from a little less than two months ago.
The piece of news here is that Stanford University also does that.
It is a story because of the "what could possibly go wrong" aspect.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843684)

They can choose to participate or not. Seems like a non-story to me.

Of course. But it raises interesting questions.

For example, what happens to the data after it's processed? Is it stored anywhere?

If yes, for how long? Who has access to it? Will it be handed out to law enforcement agencies who ask for it? Can the FBI send a NSL and grab it, while also forcing the university to remain quiet?

If not, how can we be sure that it's not? How is trust established in a situation like this?

The answers, particularly the answers in case it's not stored, are important ones that will have an impact in society in general in the near to mid future.

saliva or.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843184)

It would be more fun if they mailed them salvia sample kits.

Re:saliva or.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843298)

Ho ho ho!

Re:saliva or.... (1)

mikiN (75494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32849066)

You forgot:
chchchchch chchch chch chchchchch chchch chch
cho cho cho ho ho!

Voluntary... for now (4, Insightful)

epp_b (944299) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843194)

Well, I can't possibly foresee any way that this could ever be abused.

Re:Voluntary... for now (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843310)

I know this sounds some what paranoid, but my alma mater started with just offering student health insurance. Then having insurance became mandatory. Then having THEIR insurance became mandatory.

Re:Voluntary... for now (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32844082)

Health insurance was mandatory at our college when I went in the '80s. Didn't have to be their insurance, though.

Re:Abused (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843858)

PseudoQuote:

"
Your Rights Online: Berkeley Says College Attendees' Information Was Leaked
Posted by Someone on Thursday September 08, @03:26PM
from the hopefully-no-dropped-rows-on-the-grade report dept.
[ Security ]
NoelCoward writes "Thousands of people got a nasty e-mail this morning from Berkely. The comllege was warning people that its attendee DNA database for its semester 2010 event was hacked. If it's not embarrassing enough for a college to get hacked, the e-mail also went out to people who didn't register and didn't attend the school. That raises questions about exactly what database was pried open and how bad the damage is. Berkeley's e-mail said the hole was quickly closed and only goatse-type humor was exposed." /PseudoQuote

Re:Voluntary... for now (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844114)

That's kind of pointless....anything can be abused. You know that whole freedom of speech thing? It can be abused (fire in a crowded theater, abusive speech, etc. etc). Baseball bats can be abused. The ability to use computers can be abused. ANYTHING CAN BE ABUSED. If you spend all your time worrying about things that can be abused, you're going to spend all your time being outraged, and become bitter and cynical. Oh, did that describe you?

Seriously though, your argument is extremely similar to those who say looking at porn can lead to looking at child porn. While technically correct, it really doesn't have any affect on the situation at hand other than to raise an emotional issue. "Think of the privacy" is the nerds equivalent of "think of the children." The program is voluntary. There really is nothing wrong with it, any more than there is a problem with Safeway sending you coupons in the mail.

Re:Voluntary... for now (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32846840)

Um.. actually you *can* shout "fire" in a crowded theater. Even if there's no fire, and you're not part of the show, etc.

The government is not allowed to make or enforce any laws to the contrary.

However, free speech does not absolve you of responsibility for the consequences of your actions. If you yell "fire" and everyone exits orderly and there are no injuries, you may be civilly liable for the price of their tickets, and if someone was injured or killed, you might have some criminal liability for that.

There aren't any secret hidden loopholes for government to assume authority over free speech under some kind of nebulous "but they obviously didn't mean x, where the speech could result in harm." The theater example is itself an example of things that can be and have been abused.

to lazy to create account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843220)

far too lazy to create account, after all I should be working right now, anyway anonymous coward isn't ALL bad.
So I was thinking, There is no way I could avoid swabbing a goldfish and sending in my "DNA" swab I am sure at least one will do likewise

Re:to lazy to create account (3, Funny)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843408)

of course when they see 94 chromosomes, they'll pick up on it right away, but a Stanford student would already know that.

Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (2, Insightful)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843232)

I mean, it's a bit paranoid, but imagine: "I'm sorry, but we've found you too liable to get cancer/something else undesirable. We're giving your seat in the class to this more guy who's more likely to be successful and not dead."

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843380)

"Oh, your credentials are excellent; but I'm afraid your mortality profile is not what we are looking for. The best alumni donors live long successful lives, then die relatively swiftly, leaving plenty for a generous bequest. The ones that die young and tragically we admit strategically, for their potential artistic value; but the ones that are likely to linger for years under ever costlier treatments just aren't worth it."

"Though, on the other hand... I like you kid, you seem like the right sort, not really your fault that you'll probably die slowly of something from 90 to 97. Re-apply, with an essay that has a bit more stoicism and enthusiasm for the sort of motorcycles that you'll be able to afford just as your reflexes are starting to deteriorate, and I'll talk to some people I know..."

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843386)

Do we need a "Godwin" variant for Gattaca references every time genetics are mentioned? "Dude! You just Gatted the thread!"

I can imagine your scenario true, if this were mandatory. If the US didn't have strict privacy laws surrounding such information. And if the student, once informed of this, couldn't sue the everlovin' shit out of the University for doing something so utterly stupid.

Plus, what in the hell does a University care whether their students are successful, or even alive? As long as the student pays their bills, an ass ends up in a seat and the school makes their tuition money. You could stitch together rotted bits of badger and get it admitted if you offer enough money and promise to keep it from getting too stinky.

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843468)

If the US didn't have strict privacy laws surrounding such information

A wonderful utopia! Now if only they'd pass laws stopping murder and rape...

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843506)

considering some dorm rooms, I'm not so sure that 'keep it from getting too stinky' is really a requirement

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843592)

If the US didn't have strict privacy laws surrounding such information.

Laws change. For example, children conceived from a sperm donation are fighting to have the right to know who their fathers are. Yet, these donors agreed to donate with the knowledge that the law protects their right to remain completely anonymous.

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843872)

What laws protect a sperm donor's right to remain completely anonymous? Donors may have assumed they would be anonymous, sperm banks may have made promises that they would be anonymous, and in some cases they may have had contracts that said they would be anonymous, but none of those things are laws. There are however, strict laws about privacy and use of genetic information.

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844346)

Don't know about sperm donors, but a bill is working it's way through the New Jersey legislature that will allow people who were adopted as children to unseal their records ... a reversal of the law at the time of the adoption.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/96449329_Flawed_adoptee_bill.html [northjersey.com]

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32845644)

Do we need a "Godwin" variant for Gattaca references every time genetics are mentioned? "Dude! You just Gatted the thread!"

Apparently we do. Of course, the paranoid citation of science fiction as an objection to actual science goes at least back to Frankenstein, but Gattaca really seems to have taken on that role in the modern discussion of genetic issues. Jurassic Park often gets thrown in as a lagniappe.

Just in case this isn't clear to everybody: Frankenstein, Jurassic Park, and Gattaca were all fiction. They're stories. They're made up. They didn't really happen. At least Hitler and the Nazis actually existed ...

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848262)

You missed 1984.

Or does that not count, because it was "... a warning, not a manual!"

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32845702)

Plus, what in the hell does a University care whether their students are successful, or even alive? As long as the student pays their bills, an ass ends up in a seat and the school makes their tuition money.

Posting as AC so I keep my job. Google "Blackboard Outcomes" and see the answer for yourself. It's able to pinpoint students who are likely to succeed, be grateful, and donate generously back to the school.

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (2, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843498)

On the other hand, if you're really that likely to get cancer and die during the 4 month course I think that would be pretty important information to know about. In fact, personally I would call getting that information but missing out on the class a net win. As long as they don't start using genome studies to test for intelligence, aggression, or work ethic I honestly think that the right laws and regulations can control the situation.

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32845482)

On the other hand, if you're really that likely to get cancer and die during the 4 month course I think that would be pretty important information to know about.

Not a possible situation in this case. The companies providing the option for testing for the class don't test for that kind of super-aggressive cancer.

23andMe tests for a couple of the common BRCA (breast cancer) mutations, but it's not automatically visible when you get the results.

With Navigenics, I can't remember if they test for any common cancer-causing polymorphisms, but I'm 99% sure they don't test for this type of super-aggressive cancer.

Re:Does anyone see a GATTACA coming true? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844356)

But how else will trees get planted on campus. On campus every tree (Planted after the college was formed) comes with a Plaque of some kid who died honorably during college.

How long until it's part of admissions? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843248)

We'll need your SAT scores, two letters of recommendation, and a DNA sample.

Re:How long until it's part of admissions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843354)

We'll need your SAT scores, two letters of recommendation, and a DNA sample.

I see you applied to Brandeis University as well!

It's a drug-- I mean, throat culture (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843304)

Of course U.C. Berkeley would offer incoming students a Salvia sample kit.

Re:It's a drug-- I mean, throat culture (1)

ctchristmas (1821682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844016)

Nah its not for drugs, its a smart, preventative measure...
"Alright students, now we are going to show you a slideshow of students who tested positive for STDs. Make sure you don't sleep with them...*click*"

Makes sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843338)

Berkeley is pretty much one of the most conservative schools in the US ranking right up there with BYU. Having attended both schools, I can tell you it is common place to be handed a bible, gun (BYU) or didgeridoo (Berkeley) and a mouth swab with your falafel and hacky sack (Berkeley) or your glass of milk and tithing chart (BYU). This indoctrination must be stopped at the cost of multiple amendments to the constitution. I'm looking at you, Amendment 23, 3, 16 and 24.

that's what college is for (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843398)

submitting dna samples

usually to your fellow students

Re:that's what college is for (4, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843620)

And sometimes to the opposite sex.

Don't do it if you plan to live in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843404)

Your test results will get leaked, they almost certainly won't be properly anonymized, and sooner or later it's likely the HMOs will get hold of them. If you have any genetically linked diseases, or predisposition to such, they will use this as an excuse to not insure you. Why take the chance? If you're a foreign student planning to return home later, it's probably ok.

UC Berkeley data breech - be advised (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843420)

Incoming freshmen should know that over 100,000 individuals were victims of a data breech at Berkeley's University Health Center in May 2009. The stolen information included gems such as SSNs, self-reported medical history, and information about doctor visits at the UHS -- all dating back to 1999. A more detailed report can be found here: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/uc-berkeley-alerts-students-health-data-breach

(I was one of the affected individuals; as far as I know, the school never offered any form of compensation. In a perverse twist, however, my other insurance provider also suffered a data breech a few months later and offered me various credit monitoring and ID theft prevention services.)

For all of Berkeley's excellence, securing health records is apparently not one of them. In light of last year's massive data breech, I WOULD NOT voluntarily provide any genetic information to the school, even if the program administrators claim it's anonymous and secure. Who knows how long the information will be kept around or if the school's IT department will competently secure and protect it over the long run.

Re:UC Berkeley data breech - be advised (3, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843488)

were victims of a data breech

They were victims of data coming out of a system backward? Or did you mean they were victims of a pair of short pants made out of data?

Either way, sounds nasty.

Re:UC Berkeley data breech - be advised (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32846694)

The technical term is 'data wedgie'.

Your own kit (1)

prakslash (681585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843492)

If you are not one of these incoming Stanford/Berkeley students, you can get your own testing done [23andme.com] for about $500
This company is owned by Google founder, Sergey Brin's wife, Anne.

Re:Your own kit (3, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843526)

Which eventually will be rolled into a new Google service called "G-nome". :)

Re:Your own kit (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32848270)

Not to be confused with that feature-rich and extensible Linux UI.

KDE.

Re:Your own kit (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843550)

The last thing I want is advertisements targeted to my genetic profile.

Re:Your own kit (2, Funny)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844164)

You don't think I'm sending those p3nis enlargement emails to everyone, do you?

I see that Skull and Bones has your DNA (2, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843494)

Now, are you sure you want to reveal our inner secrets, or would you prefer we go public with the fact you have a genetic propensity for engaging in foreign wars of adventure that only enrich China and Russia? ....

I work in Medical Genetics.

Privacy can fail at many levels - intake, transmission, copying.

Also, the genetic screening they do only is useful for certain things. Knowing you have certain genetic markers or gene sequences can be useful, but should never be revealed to insurers or other individuals.

'personalized medicine'? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843524)

Really do we need to be this obsessed with our personal health? Most people out there understand the basic tenets of healthy living such as good food and moderation but choose to ignore them. What is the expected result of yet more indoctrination?

 

Re:'personalized medicine'? (2, Interesting)

Nos. (179609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843722)

Just because someone eats well, is active, and generally leads a healthy life doesn't mean there isn't something wrong, especially when it comes to women (hear me out). Because women are XX, a flaw in one of those may not ever show up or be noticed, but it could be passed on to a male child. Testing can reveal this problem before it happens. I'm not saying schools, jobs, or insurance should require this type of testing, but in our case, I wish we'd known beforehand.

Re:'personalized medicine'? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843768)

Have you never heard that phrase before? It has nothing to do with "indoctrination". It is the (more in some areas, less in others, utopian) notion that, with cheap genetic sequencing and similar technologies it will become possible to treat the precise disease condition of the specific patient, in the way maximally likely to work, given their genetic and phenotypic makeup.

A lot of it is basically puffery at this stage; but, for instance, there are already substantial areas in oncology where arguably similar techniques are used. Research has shown that simply classifying cancers by location "breast/lung/pancreas/etc." misses huge amounts of variation in sensitivity to various treatments. It has become reasonably common to decide on a course of action(radiation or not, chemo or not and which agents on what schedule, excision or not and how urgently) based on the genetic markers of a particular tumor, rather than its gross anatomy and location.

Re:'personalized medicine'? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32845580)

Most people out there understand the basic tenets of healthy living such as good food and moderation but choose to ignore them.

After years in patient care, I have to disagree. Oh, there are plenty of people who know what they're doing to themselves and choose to do it anyway, of course (actually, almost everyone does this to one degree or another) but I honestly think "most" is an overestimate ... especially when you're talking about 18-year-olds. A very large number of even intelligent, generally well-educated people are deeply ignorant of how their own bodies work. Anything that increases the general level of knowledge, at whatever level (from genes on up) is IMO a Good Thing. If they still make bad choices, well, at least they'll be better informed choices.

And come on, "indoctrination"? Really?

DNA sample? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843568)

Why is your urine container filled with white goop?

*own* saliva? (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843586)

So imagine you get someone drunk and passed-out, swab their saliva, and submit it as your own.

Voila - you get a prediction of their future medical history!

Now that would open the door to some interesting conversations in the future with that person!

The new "Big Game"? (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843606)

Guess this Cal-Stanfurd rivalry is really heating up!

save money on postage... (1)

space_hippy (625619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843622)

Wouldn't it have been more cost effective to make the kits available for pickup to the students that wanted to participate. Instead of possibly confusing the issue by mailing the kits to "...every incoming freshman and transfer student."

Re:save money on postage... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843792)

Won't somebody think of the postman!

Re:save money on postage... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32846870)

Won't somebody think of the postman!

C'mon, I watched Waterworld. Isn't that enough?

Re:save money on postage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843826)

My study has shown you get more people to participate in a study when they are provided materials required to participate upfront. This works better than asking people to pick up the material themselves.

Please note this is the result of my personal study where you had to come to my house and fill out a questionnaire. However my sample group was limited to myself as I was the only one to fill it out since it was in front of my.

Potential for a modern day scam company (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843670)

That give me an idea for one of those companies that peddle stuff to people who don't know any better, like Star Registry or cryogenics [alcor.org] - get people to pay you big bucks to save some DNA samples of yourself on the premise that someday when human cloning is perfected, they can bring you back to life!!! (results may vary).

I can see the commercials, some sad old guy hobbles off to his grave, cut to futuristic world and the same guy is wearing a jumpsuit and a big smile. Voiceover, "It's never too late, so come see what the future has in store for you".

Re:Potential for a modern day scam company (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843804)

That's always puzzled me, even if you do manage to transform the memories, all you get is a situation like the 6th day. A clone that has your memories, but isn't really you.

healthcare crops want this for the next 2-4 years (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843812)

healthcare crops want this for the next 2-4 years be fore the rules about not taking sick people kick in.

Re:healthcare crops want this for the next 2-4 yea (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844028)

Too late [govtrack.us]

A Possible Lower Divison Class for Health Science? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32843816)

The applications of planted evidence at a crime scene are relatively straight forward, and as CSI types learn their craft better, false-positives will be discounted. But "kitchen table genetics" is approaching very quickly. Students need to be aware of these future issues and applications. Then why not have a mandatory 1 Unit Health Genetics class for incoming freshmen/women where they do their on analysis and the data is never stored on campus for any reason?

Submit someone else's DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843914)

It looks like the students get to retrieve "their own" results, keyed by the barcode thingie. I had to put "their own" in quotes, because certain possibilities present themselves.

that's an interesting angle for abuse... (1)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844190)

how are the samples collected? could you submit another person's DNA and snoop/harass them?

Hippy Gene? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32843996)

I think they are just looking to isolate the gene that turns people into hippies ;-)

Actually, I grew up there and it has changed a lot. You have to be a pretty rich hippie to afford Berkeley these days....

Big difference between Berkeley and Stanford (3, Insightful)

kabloom (755503) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844044)

I think there's a big difference between what Berkeley's doing and what Stanford's doing.

At Stanford, seeing as how it's a graduate level class, the students understand that the purpose is to explore the implications of genetic testing for this kind of application (not unlike a graduate-level MIT class I read about some years ago about wearable computing where the purpose was to explore how wearable computing might affect our lives.) It doesn't bother me too much that they do this, so long as the institutional review board was consulted (if it was appropriate to do so.)

At Berkeley, on the other hand, the Freshman orientation program treats this as a more or less settled societal issue.

Re:Big difference between Berkeley and Stanford (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32845694)

At Berkeley, on the other hand, the Freshman orientation program treats this as a more or less settled societal issue.

I suspect Berkeley's approach may be more in keeping with reality. (How many times are you ever going to hear that statement?) The genie's not only out of the bottle, he's moved to a different town and denies ever having lived at that address.

Big Deal... (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844368)

When I was in college, it wasn't a good night out unless I swapped saliva with a coed.

Forget about the privacy issues... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#32844460)

...here's the part I find funny; the article says the students who participate will be able to sequence their own dna. In a semester? For fun? If your going into this field obviously dna sequencing is a very important part of it; but damn! It Is BORING. The genetic language is made up of FOUR (4) letters, and the sentences string on and one for infinity and a day! Think about translating the same joke from one language to another, over and over again, but with a slightly different punchline each time. Over, and over, and over, for days... and then, since its YOUR joke, once in a while you might find a variation that could kill you. Fun. Fun, fun, fun.

Sounds like the Ivy League nude photos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32844464)

Interesting story how students were asked to submit to "posture photos" which were used for eugenics studies. This just reeks of potential abuse regardless of the promise they make.

http://tafkac.org/collegiate/ivy_league_nude_photos.html

Affairmative action implications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32846098)

The science on this is too late for me and my siblings in the college admission process. But when this article coming out, linking Formosan aboriginals with Australian aboriginals genetically, we tested for the marker used and found it.
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0030247;jsessionid=4B83F3BC07FF90657C9C95A5ABCCBE02.ambra01 [plosbiology.org]
"Traces of Archaic Mitochondrial Lineages Persist in Austronesian-Speaking Formosan Populations"

Affirmative action in it's currently form, it's pretty tough on Taiwanese-American who speak Han languages. However, Pacific Islanders, such as those related to Australian aboriginals, get a boost. And we can back it up with science, now, for the next generation. As those claims are only to become more popular, I can see schools eventually conducting their own genetic tests.

gucci bags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32847378)

cheap gucci sale [gucciusaoutlet.com]
http://www.gucciusaoutlet.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=75&zenid=aa7cf3c1c03ba16b9ac00c8cd2a23ef2

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