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The uses for a DNA database.

20 Nov 2013 10:36 | Andrew Hazlehurst

Scientists have found a method to identify whether a particular gene sequence has come from a person’s mother or father, which will allow doctors to determine a person’s risk for disease. The team at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine predict that in the future, everyone’s genomes will be sequenced onto a DNA database, with one benefit being that it would help to speed up the process of matching organ donations. What other uses do you think a DNA database would have?


Camille Abney

Date:   20 Nov 2013 11:17

The idea of having everyone's DNA on file is found to be quite sinister by some. However, one major use would be for identifying victims of disasters, as the identifaction process can often take a very long time.  It certainly gives a lot to think about.

Reply Date:   20 Nov 2013 11:40 |  Lars Olsson

There are many ethical issues that would need to be addressed before a DNA database is created- I'm not sure I would want insurance companies to have access to my genetic information. I think for every 'good' use the database has, I can think of a 'bad' use. I don't see a DNA database being implemented in the near future, due to the huge costs of obtaining, mapping and maintaining the DNA.

However, the idea of having personalised medical care and being able to pre-empt diseases is very appealing.