The State May Have Your Genome Sooner Than You Think

By Razib Khan | June 14, 2010 5:19 pm

Slate has an interesting article, O Brother, Where Art Thou? It’s time for legislators to look more closely at familial searches of DNA databases. The principle is simple. States and national governments are already collecting genetic material from persons who have had brushes with the criminal justice system and assembling databases. These individuals naturally have relatives, who share genetic material with them. One point not explicitly mooted in the Slate piece: if your relations have become entangled with the criminal justice system, you also are much more likely to be so entangled. I am skeptical that all of the government officials who are assembling these databases are totally ignorant of these behavior genetic findings.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Genomics
MORE ABOUT: Behavior Genetics
  • NewEnglandBob

    Your last sentence is too long. It should be: “All of the government officials who are assembling these databases are totally ignorant.”

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  • L

    “I am skeptical that all of the government officials who are assembling these databases are totally ignorant of these behavior genetic findings.”

    They’re not (though they aren’t going to jump to mention that fact).

  • KDdidit

    So IF the state knows that all blue-eyed people share the same mother many generations ago, does that mean that since we are all descendants of possibly up to 5 to 7 “Eves” that we are all guilty by association of “being human?”

    Then the other side of it is that maybe we are related to the politicians who are making the laws… that could be scarier than being related to a criminal OR is there a difference?

  • http://mattersoflifeandtech.wordpress.com lifeandtechie

    Hi there,
    Thanks for pointing us to the Slate piece. I came away with a slightly different take on it, which I expressed (with some hyperventilation) here: (http://mattersoflifeandtech.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/now-big-brother-wants-your-dna-too-psst-it-might-already-have-it/). Cheers.

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  • geeta

    One more half-baked scientific way to botch up a case for the justice system. They might end up convicting a whole families spread across the globe in every case, that may or maynot include the actual culprit.
    NewEnglandBob: The sentence is intended to mean the exact opposite of what you ‘simplify’ it as.

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Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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