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Genome Researchers Wants Your Genes

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the you-say-intelligence-genes-i-say-smarty-pants dept.

165

An anonymous reader writes "The Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) is looking for smart volunteers to donate their genes for analysis. They are seeking subjects with high intelligence; you can only qualify if you got a high score in SAT/ACT/GRE or got awards in competitions like Math/Physics Olympiads or TopCoder. They're also launching a drive to recruit US participants. Their first stop (PDF) appears to have been Google, which has run into trouble with the Chinese government. Also worth noting: BGI is registered in China as an 'Institutional Organization,' which by law requires it to report to a supervising governmental office or agency."

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ACT score of 35 or 36? (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | about 3 years ago | (#37156454)

Those with a 33 (like me) need not apply, I guess.

Re:ACT score of 35 or 36? (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 3 years ago | (#37157080)

"Those with a 33 (like me) need not apply, I guess."

Nonsense! I'm sure they'll need a control group. At least that's what I suggested when I applied.

Re:ACT score of 35 or 36? (2)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37157144)

Logically, they'd want both those with high and low intelligence, to see what the differences were. This sounds more like a breeding program (let's breed intelligent western-looking kids to be our next generation of spies) or, more likely, just another hoax.

Of course, if it IS an attempt to get western-looking donors of high intelligence for a breeding program, they'll be disappointed - most of them will look asian :-)

Re:ACT score of 35 or 36? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157354)

Most likely they are doing a case-control study, where the cases and controls are collected separately. Typically cases are much rarer than controls, so the case step involves going out and looking hard for cases, whereas controls are sampled from the population.

What about 108 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157166)

Love this number game
11 sephira + 22 cineroth = 33, qabbalistic eye in the $1 bill, either masonic or jewish 2^2*3^3's better -- Satyam Eva Jayate P.S. for our Chinese friends (hey, they buy all of our fake I.O.Us, and made Buddhism spread over the western world) : please don't forget the wisdom part of the brain, i.e mirror neurons ratio, or empathy ability ... but that's only if you want to craft the übermensch. Re:ACT score of 35 or 36? (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157208) I dug through my ancient records to see what mine were, and I'm in the same boat as you. But my SATs weren't bad! 1580! And as tomhudson said in his reply to your post, this does seem more like a shady breeding program than actual scientific research. (yes tom, I'm asian) Re:ACT score of 35 or 36? (1) KingMotley (944240) | about 3 years ago | (#37157710) But those with a 36 (like me) could. Re:ACT score of 35 or 36? (1) Kreigaffe (765218) | about 3 years ago | (#37158078) Wow, and they're looking for 1580 SAT scores or better (verbal/math only, apparently, which is how it was when i took it, 1600 max). That's 780V and 800M. Nothing less than perfection in math. There's a joke about the chinese and math in here somewhere, I'm sure of it. Intrusion (2, Interesting) Wowsers (1151731) | about 3 years ago | (#37156460) After World War 2 people were appalled to find out that the Nazi government were building up files of peoples measurements of faces and other such measurements to show / prove their master race theory. Isn't having DNA taken the exact same thing? There should be outrage over this kind of thing and where it could possibly lead mankind. Re:Intrusion (1) _0xd0ad (1974778) | about 3 years ago | (#37156482) There should be outrage over this kind of thing and where it could possibly lead mankind. Better? Re:Intrusion (0) andymadigan (792996) | about 3 years ago | (#37156728) The Nazi's thought they were going to improve the human race as well. That we've found a (possibly) better biological indicator of intellect does not mean that it would be moral to use that knowledge to 'improve' the human gene pool. Nor would it be a good idea. Cutting down the gene pool is a generically bad idea. Too much risk of damage, besides it's hard to imagine a way to restrict the gene pool without committing an atrocity. That being said, there's nothing wrong with studying this simply for the pure science of it, no matter who does the work. - Of course, I only scored a 1280 on the SAT. Re:Intrusion (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156842) Of course, I only scored a 1280 on the SAT. Dumbass. Re:Intrusion (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157512) Sick. China is evil. First the draw up policy that kills all the women fetuses in their race. Next they block the entire internet because the need to control what their citizens think. Now they are starting nazi experiments. After there children die in sweat shops, and their politics finally breed a bunch of idiots I guess they will need a way to enlighten their country. To bad they will never reconize how to do it. Re:Intrusion (2) icebraining (1313345) | about 3 years ago | (#37156510) It's not intrusion since they're looking for volunteers. Boo hoo... (-1) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156536) You moron. The 'master race' theory was clearly correct, wasn't it? Did Africans put a man on the moon? (Cue the insane liberal mind trying desperately to come up with excuses for why blacks everywhere are failures...) Anyway, the Chinese media isn't run by Jews, so the Chinese couldn't give a stuff about what YOU and all the other idiots, who believe whatever they see on TV, think. It is quite obvious that some people are more intelligent than others, and that some RACES are more intelligent than others. Care to prove me wrong with FACTS, oh useful idiot? You know nothing about German history. The German people were trying to take their country BACK from the Jews who had taken it over. The Jews ran the banking system, and had caused hyperinflation, thus destroying the German economy completely. The Jews ran the media, and academia, and were rapidly destroying Germany from within, with the promotion of homosexuality, promiscuity, pornography, and mass immigration. Sound familiar? You ****** idiot. Re:Boo hoo... (1) NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 3 years ago | (#37157164) So what you're saying is that the tea party argument is identical to the one advanced by the Nazis? Making Tea Partiers and similar right-wing movements the American equivalent of Nazis? Niiice.... I wonder who the equivalent of Hitler would be then? Bachmann? Re:Intrusion (2) elsurexiste (1758620) | about 3 years ago | (#37156668) Consider this scenario: let's say that, due to whatever correlation (e.g. exposure to testosterone/finger length), those measurements indeed mapped to greater brain weight, less cancer risk, you name it. What happens next? Shall we drop those scientific findings because they are politically incorrect? Re:Intrusion (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157310) Well, we used the data (and scientists) from Nazi experiments on cold exposure and rocket design for all kinds of stuff. Perhaps it's unethical to use that data later... but what do you do once the deed is done, if it produced useful information? Re:Intrusion (1) zakeria (1031430) | about 3 years ago | (#37156768) Your bang on the ball mate, and China should be feared!! Re:Intrusion (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157118) Read the page, they are doing that. They are doing a study on face blindness and a study on intelligence. Their criteria is so narrow that I don't see anything coming of this. The ACT/SAT etc is only taken in regards to US Universities. So pretty much this request is only going to get the dumbest of the smartest (those that are OK with giving genetic samples, or have rather naive understanding of biology.) Think about it... If this is a company run by mainland china, the last thing you want to do is give them genetic data, especially if you're critical of China in any aspect. It may look innocent right now, but any genetic database is a potential liability for you in the future, no matter who owns it. It may sound paranoid, but I'd only volunteer for this kind of genetic profiling if it were to come from a university that has no connection to the government of any country. It's probably more innocent than slashdot tinfoilies are going to make it out to be. Re:Intrusion (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157324) Are you fucking stupid? It's voluntary! How the hell this got +4 interesting is beyond me. the pendulum swings... (1) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157640) A couple of generations ago, eugenics got a bad name by taking things too far under the Nazi's. Social liberalism experiments of breading a permanent underclass of welfare recipients should get just as bad a rap. Unless you love the smell of barbarians burning your civilization. Re:the pendulum swings... (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37158408) I'm a barbarian, you insensitive clod! Re:the pendulum swings... (2) Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 3 years ago | (#37158510) Well, I'm a clod you insensitive barbarian. Intelligence is more than just puzzle solving and number crunching. Intelligence is not a continuum, it's a spectrum. This reductionism of intelligence to what basically amounts to math skills (let's face it, even the verbal GRE test is really a logic test) is limited. Useful in some dimensions, but limited. I don't know any personally, but I'm willing to bet that most sports geniuses wouldn't score that well on an ACT or SAT. Nor would a lot of artists who are incredibly gifted. Re:Intrusion (1) simcop2387 (703011) | about 3 years ago | (#37158456) While it is true we don't really know why they're after this (their motivations are what we should be appalled at), in this case it's voluntary. With the Nazi's many of their subjects for those purposes did not have a choice. So at least their methods in this case are better in that regard. Everyone's thinking it, I'm just saying it... (4, Funny) deains (1726012) | about 3 years ago | (#37156462) It's got to be super-soldiers. Re:Everyone's thinking it, I'm just saying it... (3, Insightful) Soralin (2437154) | about 3 years ago | (#37156554) They'll engineer super-soldiers to be so smart that they'll end up resolving conflicts through rational discussion rather than violence. Re:resolving conflicts through rational discussion (4, Funny) TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 3 years ago | (#37156758) Lin Yutang once wrote that if you gave leaders a good meal and a comedy show, they wouldn't get into wars. Re:resolving conflicts through rational discussion (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37158066) tho whom mod this funny, your are stupid and your mother has rectal cancer. Re:Everyone's thinking it, I'm just saying it... (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156662) Pfft. I'd take on a whole army of 'em, by myself...just give me a large, math-covered sign and a busy highway. Re:Everyone's thinking it, I'm just saying it... (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157350) Germany here. We tried that. It didn't work. All it did was chase all our scientist out of the country, because apparently, they were not very super-soldiery-master-racey. ;) Researchers looking for others, perhaps? (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156502) I'm a dysthymic underachiever. Am I perchance needed out there? Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) benjamindees (441808) | about 3 years ago | (#37156516) Anyone smart enough to qualify should be smart enough to hold out for a better offer. :| Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37156638) My thought was that they shouldn't be using SAT, ACT or GRE scores as they're known to be more influenced by ones household income and motivation than intellect. Despite the complaints, the reality is that a properly designed and normed IQ test would be far more informative than any of those tests would be in this area. As for the other qualifications, not going to be of any sort of meaningful help as there are tons of ways in which one can win them, they aren't likely to find any useful genes as a result. Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156714) I'm not sure an IQ test can tell you much either. Isn't there a lot of research demonstrating IQ tests really have no predictive power? I am reminded of the fact that Richard Feynman only had an IQ of 124 and he won the the Nobel Prize in Physics. Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156836) So, 44 points higher than most Americans? Good for him! How's that relate to your point? Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157380) You mean 24 points. The point is that he did not have a genius level IQ, but he did genius level work. Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) greg1104 (461138) | about 3 years ago | (#37156854) Given when he was born and normal school progression, Feynman's IQ test would have happened around somewhere around 1933. At that point in time, it was likely an early Stanford-Binet [wikipedia.org] test, which was only slightly older than Feynman himself then. I seriously doubt the 124 score had any accuracy, given it's believed Feynman was already wandering around doing Calculus around the same age he took the test. Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (0) Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157290) You have pointed out that his IQ score was not an accurate measurement of his abilities. IQ tests also have been shown to fail in predictive power for people with the autism. Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) greg1104 (461138) | about 3 years ago | (#37157928) I was pointing out that the predictive power of a circa 1933 IQ score and that of a more recently designed one are not necessarily the same. You can't prove they aren't useful nowadays with data about how well they tracked ability from eighty years ago. Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37157318) IQ tests are like Mensa - more than 99% of the people qualified to join are also smart enough to realize Mensa is a scam. The ones who bleat the hardest about how IQ is so important are the ones who are so stupid that, despite having a high IQ, they have to pay$60 a year to a club that will attest to their worth so they can feel good about themselves.

If they were really smart, they would have quoted Grouch Marx instead when someone tried to pitch it to them - "I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member."

Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 3 years ago | (#37157360)

Or they just like the company of reasonably intelligent people once in awhile and the various social events they hold.

I'm not a member, nor would I likely qualify, but I don't see a problem with people joining a group based on something they all have in common. That's what most groups are, after all.

Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37157546)

I'm not a member, nor would I likely qualify, but I don't see a problem with people joining a group based on something they all have in common. That's what most groups are, after all.

Try this on for size. "We want you to join our group of blonde, blue-eyed, fair-skinned people." I qualify, but if someone asked me that, I'd be creeped out. Are they KKK? Neo-nazis? White Supremists?

"We want you to pay $60 a year to belong to a group of people whose IQ puts them in the top 2%. Benefits include being able to meet others who belong to the same group." Like more than 99% of those who qualify, I am not that lame. Intelligence is WAY more than a culturally and economically biased test score. Why would I want to hang out with people like me, when I can hang out with people who are different, and thus we're more interesting to each other? Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) That Guy From Mrktng (2274712) | about 3 years ago | (#37157750) So.. everyone with a high IQ must be a boring Buzzkillingtong that can only make jokes about the archduke? How can the mensa test have cultural bias? I remember doing it when I was 17 I didn't see a single cultural or economically-biased question, passed barely, but I was not motivated to join because everyone started to script my future (oh you should be doctor, oh you should be a lawyer) I made myself friend of the head of the local office and "dumped the database" in a floppy. I'm still in touch with some of the people I knew then, the ROI from that test was like over 9000%. You can have smarts and you can have mischief in the same envelope, thats more related on how you were raised. IQ is like an specification not a qualitative insight of anybody. Trompe le monde! [youtube.com] Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37158016) How can the mensa test have cultural bias? Sample questions that exhibit cultural bias: Q.One of the following proverbs is closest in meaning to the saying, "Birds of a feather, flock together." Choose one: Q. One of the following sentences given below means approximately the same as the proverb: "Don't count your chickens until they are hatched." Choose the one: Two questions that depend on knowledge of a specific culture and common language idioms. Many tests depend on "inside knowledge" of a particular culture. For example, this one at a recent job interview: Q. Make a name out of this number with one line: 20100 One of my favourites is this one: Q. What is this postal address (this is a true story - the letter was properly delivered - but it requires some country-specific knowledge (formatting of addresses - it's not the same all over the world) as well as knowledge of common names and various place names, so it is definitely culturally biased): WOOD JOHN ENGLAND Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37157572) I take it your score wasn't high enough to gain entrance. Believe it or not, sometimes it's nice to have people available that are cognitively strong enough that they represent some challenge. It's astonishingly annoying to argue with people that lack the education and cognitive faculties to put up a decent argument. Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1) tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37157818) I take it your score wasn't high enough to gain entrance. You take it wrong. Believe it or not, sometimes it's nice to have people available that are cognitively strong enough that they represent some challenge. It's astonishingly annoying to argue with people that lack the education and cognitive faculties to put up a decent argument. Then make it fun (or do you lack the *ahem* education and cognitive faculties to do so???). That's what white-hat trolling is for. Fun AND educational. Troll Tuesday exists for multiple reasons. You get out of it what you put into it, including the odd insight, as well as practice in dealing with people who suffer from illogical thinking or have never challenged their basic beliefs (and may be unable to do so without help and sufficient prodding). Albert Einstein was once asked why he, an important professor, spent so much time helping an 8-year-old girl with her math homework. He said "It's simple. I help her with her math, and she shares her jellybeans." He obviously wasn't in it for the jellybeans - he could have simply bought as many as he wanted. He probably also learned more from observing her than she did from him. More importantly, he also was smart enough to know that there's more to a person than just what they know or how "smart" they are. Mensa ... the only intelligent thing to come out of that was the original idea of starting a group to soak people for$60 a year based on their IQ score being in the top 2%. And like someone who over-pays for anything else, they are now psychologically invested in justifying their irrational behaviour.

From an example mensa web site:

Becoming a member of Mensa can add new dimensions to your life. Making new friends and finding intellectual stimulation are givens, but what may be even more important is the feeling of belonging that grows when you are surrounded by honest-to-goodness peers --- people who are unique, yet paradoxically, are very much like you: inquisitive, fun-loving, open to new ideas and alternative viewpoints, and well-read.

Bunch of poseurs. If they're so smart, why can't they make new friends and find intellectual stimulation on their own. It sounds more like a program to help the socially retarded breed.

Or this - annotated by yours truly:

Membership Benefits

• Prestige & Exclusivity - because 99% of all geniuses won't join - they're not that stupid - you're "special", cupcake;
• Social & Friendship - because it's safe to be surrounded by people who are similarly lacking in social skills;
• Special Interest Groups - because nobody else will laugh at your collection of Star Wars figurines;
• Annual & Regional Gatherings - because we want to soak more money out of you;
• Networking / International Contacts - because you're too stupid to find them yourself;
• Confidence & Self-Esteem - hey - if you're so smart, why do you need to join a group of people who lack confidence and self-esteem to build up your confidence and self-esteem??? Go see a therapist. Get some counseling.
• Newsletters and Magazines - because we want still more of your money;
• Mensa Merchandise - because we want still more of your money;
• An Edge In Career Prospects - we threw this in because we know you're so desperate to believe this one you'll never question it, dumb-ass;
• Help For Gifted Children - because growing up with a parent who is so needy, any children will be "gifted" or "special" or "f*'d up" - they'll need all the help they can get to avoid shooting up the local school;
• Annual Scholarships for university students - because we'll give out \$1,000 every year to one student who writes a 250-word essay on their plans ... it makes us look good and doesn't cost us anything, since the award is donated by someone else equally needy to see their name associated with Mensa, and it gives us a great prospect list.

+1 Great scam!

Re:Valid evolutionary strategy? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37158312)

Thanks for proving my point for me. This is precisely what I was talking about. Einstein didn't only hang out with 8 year olds, he also hung out with some of the most intellectually advanced individuals of his generation a group which one would have a really hard time typically meeting.

It's not that they can't make friends, it's that sometimes it's nice to spend time with folks that are actually interested in carrying on an intelligent conversation. And for somebody that is apparently anti-intellectual, I'm sure it would surprise you to learn that being the apex of the world around you intellectually is frequently a source of confidence problems as you never know when you're full of it because nobody is capable of calling you on it.

BTW, thanks again for proving my point for me.

Can you GPL your genes/body? (4, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | about 3 years ago | (#37156530)

My great aunt has given her body to science so people will learn as to why she became that old. I would like to do the same thing, but be sure that not some Monsanto makes a shitload of money from it by patenting the shit out of my dead body.

I would realy like it to be some sort of GPL where findings are actually intended for the general public.

Does anybody have any experience with such a thing?

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156630)

My great aunt has given her body to science so people will learn as to why she became that old. I would like to do the same thing, but be sure that not some Monsanto makes a shitload of money from it by patenting the shit out of my dead body.

I would realy like it to be some sort of GPL where findings are actually intended for the general public.

Does anybody have any experience with such a thing?

I imagine they would just refuse to use your body. "I donate my body to science, but anything you find can't be patented," would get the response, "than the only safe thing we can do is to not look for anything in your body and hope you don't have anything we can't find in somebody else."

They're not doing the research to help anyone, they're doing it for the patents.

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | about 3 years ago | (#37156942)

They wouldn't refuse to use your body. A likely use would be as a cadaver for medical and nursing/allied health students to dissect and learn anatomy. Teaching anatomy via dissection requires a large number of cadavers on an annual basis, and there is nothing patentable in doing a dissection.

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37156650)

That's easy, she lived to become that old because she didn't die. As noble as it is, it's doubtful that they'll find any useful information as the people who lived to be 100+ years old are just the tail end of the distribution, there's as much luck involved as anything else.

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (2)

starless (60879) | about 3 years ago | (#37156880)

That's easy, she lived to become that old because she didn't die. As noble as it is, it's doubtful that they'll find any useful information as the people who lived to be 100+ years old are just the tail end of the distribution, there's as much luck involved as anything else.

You give no citations to support your hypothesis.
Sheer luck might perhaps be the case, but without research one might miss a genetic connection, which could then potentially enable either medical or lifestyle changes that could mimic the genetic differences.
As one example of a possible genetic link to some aspects of aging see e.g.
http://www.einstein.yu.edu/home/news.asp?id=454 [yu.edu]

Luck Vs Food/air supply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157082)

Lets open the History book for a while :
Back at a time where people did not travel as often as today, and more importantly, back when their food was not FDA-approved shit (my favourite quotation from them : "it is a scientific fallacy to say that food intake could have any relation whatsoever with health", that is, it is equivalent, health-wise, to eat rotten meat & dirt, or to eat nice salads & legumes), scientists did a survey of the life span of people.

What they found is that pockets of long-lived people (in the 120s) consume very healthy food, and mostly live either near the ocean or in mountains. Recipe for longevity : uncontamined (think mercury poisonning) seafood, spices (think essential oils' therapeutic properties, ie. Medline's database), \omega3-6 rich oils, nuts, organic legumes.

Granting longevity to luck is about the same thing as granting selflessness to politicians.

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37157574)

That's easy, she lived to become that old because she didn't die. As noble as it is, it's doubtful that they'll find any useful information as the people who lived to be 100+ years old are just the tail end of the distribution, there's as much luck involved as anything else.

Lazarus Long, is that you?

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (1)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 3 years ago | (#37156766)

I would like to do the same thing, but be sure that not some Monsanto makes a shitload of money from it by patenting the shit out of my dead body.

I would realy like it to be some sort of GPL where findings are actually intended for the general public.

Does anybody have any experience with such a thing?

Yes.

Don't have a surgical procedure. Request cremation upon death. Those are your options.

The surgical consent forms will specify that tissue removed during surgery is medical waste that becomes the property of the hospital. The hospital will not negotiate with you. If you're at all notable, after death your DNA can be collected with the consent of your next of kin. You'd better hope that they agree with you -- for several generations afterwards. That's assuming that the trait doesn't have a stong genetic link that can be determined merely by looking at the genetic code of your willing-to-participate descendants.

A political movement may change these practices. You yourself cannot. Not everything can be GPLed.

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 3 years ago | (#37158420)

I would realy like it to be some sort of GPL where findings are actually intended for the general public.

Does anybody have any experience with such a thing?

Yes.

Don't have a surgical procedure. Request cremation upon death. Those are your options.

Even then, you might run into problems. Many state governments are routinely keeping samples of all citizens from birth [slashdot.org] -- and many store them indefinitely, with no easy way for parents or citizens to get them released or destroyed. There have been cases where these samples have made it into the hands of private researchers with little or no oversight.

Whether or not such policies have affected the GP is a different question, but for new people born nowadays, it's getting ever harder to stay out of such databases.

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (1)

Jazari (2006634) | about 3 years ago | (#37156772)

be sure that not some Monsanto makes a shitload of money from it by patenting the shit out of my dead body.

It takes work to turn a dead body into a potential cure, and then it takes lots of money to test that cure and make sure it's safe and effective. I expect that any company that undertakes such a project will want to be sure that they can get something back for their investment.

Personally, I'd give my DNA away for free, and hope that I or my descendants can benefit from the new discoveries even if we have to pay for them. It's much better than not having access to these discoveries at all because they don't exist.

Can't resist asking... (1)

Charmonium (2441996) | about 3 years ago | (#37156788)

Since the researchers are in China...what about DNA piracy? Like creating your clone without you knowing it (assuming they have the capability).

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156828)

You might ask yourself why they are collecting it, and why is it a company and not some medical or educational group.

On the other hand, I'd imagine the CIA or some group will already have someone bright looking at their info.

But as to your concern, view it like all science, if it can be used against people, it will be. I'd imagine they could find some genes that would be specific to one set of genes, and then just engineer a virus to attack that one gene.

You should allow your DNA to be analysed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157146)

Perhaps they might be able to find the gene for severe paranoia!

Re:You should allow your DNA to be analysed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37158232)

Perhaps they might be able to find the gene for severe paranoia!

And find a way to use it against you!

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157276)

Your body is GPL. Everybody's is. You can use your body's genetic code any time you want, anywhere you want for whatever purpose you want, and, commensurate with the original GPL, you can't charge for the code and use of the code. You can charge for your time and effort, and you can sometimes sell the product (but there are some iffy questions here, deriving from ethics, not GPL). You can license the product (but not the code, itself), which is more common, there being a variety of licensing schemes, with so many differing rules the resulting mess makes the present patent-trolling mess look like child's play (for examples look into divorce and "family law").

That said, there are some "practical" limits: Males may only volunteer their code, offering it for use by a female, in whatever program may be running at the time of offer. Today the female may opt to use the male's code in building a new program, or not to. This is the "lab" model. There is a competing "sport" model in which a successful injection of a male's code counts as a "score", for the code-providing male and for "God". In this model, for the "score" counting to God's tally, no rulebook or referee raised (or errors recognized in replay) are permitted to interfere. A "score" "counts" and the female must use the code provided, whether she wants to or not. Products of both models are, themselves, GPL.

As for patenting human genes, and making money from other human being's genes (and cells), google "human gene patents" and "HeLa cells". Also "display of human remains" and "human parts". And, to crush your last hope of respect for your remainders, google "Cardiff Giant": Even if you don't exist you can end up embarrassingly displayed, earning someone money.

Re:Can you GPL your genes/body? (1)

kenj0418 (230916) | about 3 years ago | (#37157548)

...body to science..but be sure that not some Monsanto makes a shitload of money from it by patenting the shit out of my dead body.

Damn. There goes their plans to make "Plants vs. Zombies" into a reality TV show.

wut? (0)

dlthompson81 (1802312) | about 3 years ago | (#37156550)

They want our brains?

zOMG zombies!

Fears of testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156570)

Many people are afraid of getting genetically tested. They fear that they will be denied health-insurance if the insurance-companies find out. Also, when applying for a health-insurance you have to sign that you have no knowledge about illnesses and that you will inform them if you get any. So, unless privacy gets better I see no reason to share genetic information. There is also the threat of law-enforcement using more and more health-data for their genetic archives when they are investigating things. And there has been cases where replicated DNA has ended up on crime-scenes. There should be some specific rights tied to genes. It is in the interest of science that we build a database, but there are so many threats in the horizon that it would be stupid for people to participate.

Reminds me of this fringe medical theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156866)

HeLa cells can multiply ad infitum, unlike any other kind ... but they're not Henrieta's native cells, but cancer-derived cells (as far as wikipedia tells). So, one has to understand that your casual cells have some kind of inbuilt replication limit.

One French MD (sorry, can't remember his name; was an ex nobel Prize winne for some unrelated discovery) hypothecised that cancer is basically those casual cells having reached their mitosis limit; elaborating on that, he suspected that one drug preventing cell mitosis (which used to be routinely administered to children, until its ban around year 2000 under the pretense that it caused harmful effects on rats ... mind you, no side effects in humans where ever found despites its use for the last 40+ years; last time I checked, it was still legal in Japan) was effective at preventing cancer, so he advised routine injection of it (once every 5 years or so), in order to curb down the cell mitosis rate.

His medical theory was flagged as absurd (without anything even remotely ressembling a debunking), and his MD licence revoked.
But I can't help thinking that this is linked to both the economic profitability of Cancer management & the Malthusian dogma saying that Earth is either close to overpopulation of already in the middle of it : you hence badly need, in that view, plenty of people that die from Cancer, for fear that they'll otherwise continue to age slowly.

As a concluding remark, one can see nowerdays an explosion of cancer rates in children (previously scarcely heard of).

Re:Reminds me of this fringe medical theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157968)

You want to give kids a drug that stops mitosis to prevent cancer eh?

How do you propose they make new blood cells? Intestinal lining, vaginal lining for females, etc, etc. Or kids to... grow.

Re:Reminds me of this fringe medical theory (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 3 years ago | (#37158492)

HeLa cells can multiply ad infitum, unlike any other kind ... but they're not Henrieta's native cells, but cancer-derived cells (as far as wikipedia tells).

Cancer cells are not generally invading cells with an origin outside the body. (Only about 20% of cancers are caused by viruses.) Most of their genetic makeup is from the person they inhabit. They just have some small genetic mutation that leads to unfettered reproduction.

It may not have been a desirable change, but it was in fact an internal change in someone's body that caused this. Therefore I'm not sure that these are not "Henrietta's native cells." They may not have the exact DNA that the original embryo did that created her, but neither do a lot of cells in people's bodies. Carcinogens cause mutations in DNA; enough of them will cause one to happen in the wrong place and cause cancer.

What do you think defines "native cells" in a person? Does any cell that has a random mutation from the original DNA prototype fail the test as a "native cell"? If so, that opens up an easy way for lots of companies/governments to get away with taking samples and using your DNA... except not quite "your" DNA... but that of many cells in your body.

limited selection (1)

scrccrcr (1985186) | about 3 years ago | (#37156608)

the fact that they are limiting their selection to certain standardized test scores says a lot about the kind of society these people wouldn't mind creating.

Re:limited selection (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 3 years ago | (#37156848)

Realistically, the trade deficit says just as much about the type of society that the Chinese are interested in creating.

Re:limited selection (4, Insightful)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about 3 years ago | (#37156898)

No, the fact that they're limiting their selection means that they are looking for a specific link between high standardized test scores/academic achievement and the inability to recognize people by face [wikipedia.org] . No one is apparently bothering to read the first paragraph on that web page.

We are recruiting subjects for a Genome Wide Association Study of intelligence. Our study of prosopagnosia has not yet begun; if you wish to learn more about this condition, please visit faceblind.org.

Re:limited selection (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 years ago | (#37157812)

No, the fact that they're limiting their selection means that they are looking for a specific link between high standardized test scores/academic achievement and the inability to recognize people by face. No one is apparently bothering to read the first paragraph on that web page.

Why are you surprised that the Chinese are interested in studying why people lose face?

Re:limited selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37158334)

Maybe they're interested in finding out why they all look alike.

Researchers can damn well get their own jeans (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156642)

No way, I just bought these!

Then they are looking in the wrong place. (1)

borgheron (172546) | about 3 years ago | (#37156670)

From brutal experience I can attest to the fact that most people on Slashdot, save myself, are not that smart. ;)

GC

Very narrow definition of intelligence (1)

bkmoore (1910118) | about 3 years ago | (#37156676)

From the ad it looks like they are looking at a very narrow definition of intelligence, that is the ability to perform on standardized exams or a PhD in Math, Physics, EE, or theoretical computer science from a "top" U.S. university. Not to be China bashing, but I think China is over emphasizing rote memorization or test taking ability to the exclusion of developing other, more creative forms of intelligence. I think China is in search of the SAT-taking gene, not the smart gene.

Re:Very narrow definition of intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156730)

If for some reason you wanted to identify a bunch of smart people, how would you do it, and how long would it take you?

Re:Very narrow definition of intelligence (1)

chinakow (83588) | about 3 years ago | (#37157226)

I would take my sample and teach them something new, then see if they picked up that skill. Or I would throw a bunch of parallelograms and triangles on a table and overlay them over a silhouette of a paper crane. then I'd flip the page to a different silhouette, and look at the test subject and time them to see how long it takes for them to get the clue. Then I would call it an Intelligence Quotient test and I would call the median test results at 100 and call people who fall more than a standard deviation or two above the standard geniuses, and those who fall one or two below, developmentally disabled. I would think that the ability to learn in general, not just rote memorization that tests involve. would be a good way to find genes that helped with learning. But I'm American and definitions of intelligence differ among cultures.

Re:Very narrow definition of intelligence (1)

slazzy (864185) | about 3 years ago | (#37158310)

To start with, if they sent their DNA off to China, not very smart.

Re:Very narrow definition of intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156778)

I don't think you understand just how different culturally China is. You could explain this to most Chinese people and their reaction would be something like "Well duh, that's all that matters."

Re:Very narrow definition of intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156868)

Let them do it! Keep the people particularly smart in potentially much more damaging means to ourselves (Einstein is one I would class here, and look at all of his stuff). Then, if shit hits the fan, we can expect to really be the smarter ones. Unless, of course, Michelle Bachmann is president--then fuck it all, they're gonna win and there's nothing we can do about it.

Re:Very narrow definition of intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156856)

Before you start criticizing the Chinese perhaps you should realize SAT, GRE and the likes were created by the AMERICANS to weed out the dumb ones from higher education...so the pot calling the kettle black?

Re:Very narrow definition of intelligence (3, Insightful)

sydneyfong (410107) | about 3 years ago | (#37156862)

All you people need to RTFM (and click the FAQ):
https://www.cog-genomics.org/faq/ [cog-genomics.org]

What is intelligence?

No one knows precisely what intelligence is, and even experts disagree as to how it should be defined. However, it has been known for over a century that performance on different cognitive tests is positively correlated: for example, someone who is good at math puzzles is also more likely to have an above average vocabulary. Given a battery of tests and their correlation matrix, one can use probability theory to define a single parameter that, in a sense, optimally compresses the information from administering them all.

In practice, a wide range of intuitively sensible test batteries and functions of their score vectors yield very similar estimates of this parameter. As a result, psychologists consider these functions of test batteries to all be reasonable estimators of a parameter called the General Factor of Intelligence, or g for short.

From the use of phrases like "intuitively sensible", it should be clear that the definition of g is a little bit arbitrary. However, we believe that it's the most promising metric to base an intelligence GWAS on. The most important properties of g are:

stability (scores tend not to vary significantly after adolescence),
heritability (twin and adoption studies suggest that much of the variance in g is due to genetics), and
predictive power (g scores are correlated with academic and job performance, income, longevity, etc., even after controlling for other variables such as social class).

At least they know their results have limited scope.

Re:Very narrow definition of intelligence (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | about 3 years ago | (#37156878)

Not really. People with these sorts of scores are much more likely to have children with autistic traits or be autistic themselves. They are trying to find a gene linked to prosopagnosia, which is a characteristic on the autism spectrum.

Dear Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156746)

I wants subject verb agreement.

I'm glad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156846)

Genome Researchers Wants Your Genes

I'm glad someone does, none of the girls I've asked have wanted them...

sounds like a good screwing over (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 3 years ago | (#37156906)

What? You want my genes so you can patent them and start charing me a monthly fee, to live?

Screw you!!!!!

Where's a provocative, definitive Captain Picard lecture when you need one?

Re:sounds like a good screwing over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157348)

Where's a provocative, definitive Captain Picard lecture when you need one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6oUz1v17Uo [youtube.com]

what's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156946)

Horrid association with Nazi etc.
Eugenics is practiced daily in animal and plant breeding.
Perhaps protest demonstrations should be set up outside your local horse race track, and farmers market.

And don't tell me people don't look to procreate with the hottest looking, smartest woman they can score.
If you like unattractive dumb chicks then you have the rights to criticize.

Re:what's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37158290)

Horrid association with Nazi etc

mmm... is there a non-horrid association when eugenics is applied to humans? please, enlighten us.

Eugenics is practiced daily in animal and plant breeding..

Well, good thing the Chinese have taken it up and are applying it to humans. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:what's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37158342)

mmm... is there a non-horrid association when eugenics is applied to humans? please, enlighten us.

Sorry to hear about your horrid life with your unattractive and dumb wife/kids.

Well, good thing the Chinese have taken it up and are applying it to humans. What could possibly go wrong?

I don't know? Enlighten us.

Genes will be the new discrimation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37156998)

Anyone remembers Gattaca?

In your slashdots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157150)

writing titles in lolspeak

23andMe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157282)

I'm not a shill or anything, but for those interested in this type of thing you should have a look at 23andMe.

I joined and was very surprised to find that I was carrying a gene for cystic fibrosis (about 1 in 25 white people carries this). So if I have kids with someone else carrying this gene, we'd have a 1 in 4 chance of having a kid with CF. My current girlfriend doesn't have a CF gene but carries a haemachromatosis gene!

As well as these, there have other mutations that are associated with a different risk. For instance I have a 12% lifetime risk of Alzheimer's compared to 7.2% for the average person. Importantly for Slashdotters, you can download the raw data as use it in other sites or software. Then there's the ancestry info and relative finder which is quite interesting. It's strange to think how many hundreds of 5th cousins we all have!

How smart? How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157326)

I'm smart enough to ask if there is any money in it, first.

If there isn't, or it isn't enough, they can look elsewhere for synapses to clone, or synapse-patterns to build their androids around.

My highest acheivement abilities go to the highest bidder only. I didn't just fall off some Bush-era Pentagon procurement-truck.

True IQ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157456)

I'm probably one of the most creative and imaginative persons on the planet, when it comes to reasoning and thinking, which I think defines true intelligence. IQs and SATs are weakly related to intelligence, but they are also heavily influenced by social status, upbrining, financial situations, and conformance to the artificial and arbitrary rules of society. I was heavily influence by upbrining, yet my mathematics SAT scores were nearly perfect, although my verbal wasn't stellar. So, my point is that IQs, SATs, and awards do not measure intelligence. In fact, as far as I am aware, we don't yet have a test that actually measures actual intelligence, in terms of being able to solve problems never seen before.

Re:True IQ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37158278)

upbrining

So you're saying that you practice your own, more creative form of reasoning?

Verbal versus Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37157800)

If they flip the Math and Verbal requirements, would you qualify? Are others in my group?

It seems like they are specifically excluding our type. I'm just under for all the math qualifications and over for the verbal qualifications. My ACT was too long ago (late 80's) to remember so I might qualify there. I stopped at the master's level in theoretical computer science.

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