12 April 2007

No (Wo)man is a (Genomic) Island

Biofinformatics is wonderful when it comes to elucidating the structure of genomes. But it can also be applied in other, rather less laudable ways, to allow likely matches to be found on DNA databases even when no DNA sample has been given, thanks to

statistical techniques which match DNA on the database to relatives, according to Dr Pounder, a privacy law specialist at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM. These techniques use the genetic fact that an individual's DNA sample is related to the DNA of close family members.

Given enough computing power, we are all family. No (wo)man is a (genomic) island.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

genomic island? do you actually know what that means?

glyn moody said...

I certainly do: it's what we in the trade call a metaphor.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genomic_island

glyn moody said...

Sorry, it's *still* a metaphor.