The Dangers of Sharing Genetic Information

A colossal chunk of data is being analyzed by scientists in the process of studying functional genomics. This sort of information will enable knowledge of cellular activity in disease and health, a form of predictive and preventive strategy in healthcare. A concern is sharing of findings between laboratories, this will enable scientists to connect the dots on disease causing genes. However, protecting genetic information of individuals is a challenge.

Steps are now being taken to make this possible while still sharing genetic information between study groups. Genetic information is recognized as the most basic information about an individual. This is because it connects to both an individual’s past, present and future.

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A benefit of this sort of information transfer is in the tracking and identification of relatives. Negative instances would include, blackmail, discrimination such as threatening to expose an individual infected with some form of disease. In warfare, bioterrorism using toxic agents and microorganisms targeted at individuals with particular disorders or class of genes. Likewise in the elimination of individuals with undesirable traits.

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