Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BiobankingThrowdown: The Ethics of DNA Databasing

Do you agree or disagree with the following proposition? (take our poll and we'll compare it with the Economist's poll results) :

People's DNA sequences are their own business, and no one else's.

Art Caplan and Craig Venter go toe-to-toe on this issue, with Art Caplan defending the privacy of DNA and Craig Venter arguing for public access. An excerpt of the discourse:

Art Caplan: "There are, it is increasingly said, plenty of reasons why people you know and many you don't ought to have access to your DNA or data that are derived from it. Have you ever had sexual relations outside a single, monogamous relationship? Well then, any children who resulted from your hanky-panky might legitimately want access to your DNA to establish paternity or maternity" ...to read more, click here.

Craig Venter: "As we progress from the first human genome to sequence hundreds, then thousands and then millions of individual genomes, the value for medicine and humanity will only come from the availability and analysis of comprehensive, public databases containing all these genome sequences along with as complete as possible phenotype descriptions of the individuals"...to read more, click here.

Let us know what you think!

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