New York Times - "Poking Holes in Genetic Privacy"
This month an international group of nearly 80 researchers, patient advocates, universities and organizations like the National Institutes of Health announced that it wants to consolidate the world’s databases of DNA and other genetic information, making data easier for researchers to retrieve and share. But the security and privacy of the study subjects are paramount concerns. Dr. Eric E. Schadt of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai discovered that RNA expression data could be used not only to identify someone but also to learn a great deal about that person. "We can create a profile that reflects your weight, whether you are diabetic, how old you are," Dr. Schadt said. He and a colleague also were able to tell if a person is infected with viruses, like HPV or H.I.V., that change the activity of genes. Moreover, they were able to make what they called a genetic bar code that could be used to identify a person in a number of DNA databases. Learn more