Science - "NIH Unperturbed by New Way of Peering Into Personal Genomic Data"
In a provocative paper published this week, researchers say they have figured out a way to link a person's DNA to their anonymous genetic data in a certain kind of public research database. But the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which hosts one of the largest such databases, says it's not taking any new steps to prevent someone from using the method to breach privacy. Dr. Eric Schadt and colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine reported this week in Nature Genetics that they have developed a technique for generating a DNA "bar code," for an individual based on their gene expression results. Dr. Schadt wants "to highlight that in fact there may be no way to protect privacy" of individual genetic data. Instead of blocking access, Dr. Schadt says, NIH should educate people that there's a chance that their data won't remain confidential and instead rely on "downstream" protections such as genetic antidiscrimination laws. Learn more