Friday, August 13, 2010


Today, while I was driving around on my route, I was listening to NPR and an interesting story came on. It involved DNA testing and a study that the University of California, Berkeley has planned. It seems that "the University of California, Berkeley has a bold plan to convene a campus discussion about genetic testing by having incoming freshmen submit saliva samples for a DNA assay."

Hmmm....I had just been discussing this very issue last week. I have recently been watching the shows on TV about finding out about your genetic history, your roots, your family ties. It intrigues me and makes me curious about "where I come from" and who I came from.

My ancestors came to the United States from Russia; specifically a town named Bessarabia. The records of my family stop here in the United States when they arrived by ship. I would love to know more about them and my heritage. On my father's side, I can only trace that far back also and there are many errors in the census rolls that make it difficult to discern certain family members because of mis-spellings and errors.

You can read the entire article here. It seems that "under pressure from state health regulators, the university won't give participating students their individual results. That sort of personal information, the state said, would constitute a medical test, and would need to be ordered by a doctor and performed by a certified lab." The school "...wanted to spark the interest of these students, because, whether they like it or not, their genetic information will be used in their medical treatment in their future---and that future is only a few years away".

Think of the possible implications that this test could imply. There are any number of ways that this kind of information could be interpreted. Good can come from this kind of information and also it can also be detrimental too. The choices are endless. The discussion continues. Who exactly should control genetic information? And why?


  1. all for individaul rights on this one...

  2. This is awful. I wouldn't want anyone to get hold of my genetic info. It seems so devious. Sounds like the government is in bed with the medical/pharm/hospital industry on this one. And students won't be admitted into U of C without giving this information? This gets my blood boiling!


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