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Posts Tagged ‘Civil rights’

BBC Bush House in London
Image by ➨ Redvers via Flickr

As reported on the BBC, a recent call by Lord Justice Sedley, for universal inclusion (tourists too) in Great Britain’s national DNA database, has fanned longstanding civil rights debates. Given that the national DNA database carries disproportionate levels of ethnic minorities, it hardly seems fair to search or use the database within a legal framework or presumption that its contents generalize to the UK population at large. Some have concluded that there is much more genetic variation within ethnic and racial groups than between groups, making the ethnic composition of the database, a non-issue. In contrast, the article (free on Pubmed central) , “Genetic structure, self-identified race/ethnicity, and confounding in case-control association studies,” led by Neil Risch and Nicholas Schork find that when many, many markers are used, clustering algorithms can reveal a strong correspondence between self-reported ethnicity and genetic background. This article was a good jumping-off point for me to learn more about this complex issue. I think its not to soon for me to start rehearsing what I’ll say to the cops when they pull me over for driving with an undesirable allele.

RELATED UPDATE … story on how US government insiders/lobbyists abuse public monies set aside for DNA testing.

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