The NIH has turned the locks and barred the windows on several previously open access databases of genetic information in response to new research proving it's possible to identify a single individual's genetic profile out of a pool of DNA. Last week in linkurl:PLoS Genetics,;http://www.plosgenetics.org/home.action researchers from the University of California, Los Angles, and the Translational Genomics Institute in Phoenix published a new bioinformatics method for pinpointing an individual DNA profile within an aggregation of 1,000 or more DNA samples. The method uses single nucleotide polymorphisms, genetic irregularities regularly used to study human disease and genetic variation, as markers to probe a mixture of DNA for an individual's genetic signature. In response to the new technology, the NIH has tightened access to databases of pooled sets of genetic data, fearing for research participant privacy. Last August, the NIH linkurl:announced a scheme;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53554/ to make results from genome-wide association studies...
The Scientist:PLoS Genetics paper,GenomeWeb Daily News.Correction: In the original title of this article, the word "rein" was misspelled. The Scientist has corrected the spelling and regrets the error.
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