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The_Biggest_Rat

DNA Database Debate

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Thinking about DNA databases and whether or not it would be a net benefit to society.

DNA databases are already being created around the world, with Denmark being a country which has parents opt their children out, otherwise by default be included.

Having a database has proven to reduce crime across the board. The inherent belief that they are foolproof is not entirely correct and until a standard is created (Interpol has members use their standard), different measurements will result in the possibility of miscommunication.

There is also the possibility of data breaches, which either is circumvented through offline storage or encryption. Framing people would be a matter of going through your neighbor's trash and sprinkling their DNA at a crime scene.

Having a transparent database might be interesting as well, but would probably accelerate our trajectory towards eugenics and gene therapy, for good or bad.

I think they're a good idea, though. The amount of knowledge we could learn, alongside the increased crime prevention would be a net benefit to society. Increased rare bone marrow matches are just one example.

Discuss.

 

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I don't like the idea of it at all.

Police can now do breathalyzer tests on anyone they pull over without cause, for no reason. On the surface level the intent it great, nobody should drive drunk but with the legalization of weed for example how long until they can do blood tests freely? The idea of just some random joe schmoe cop being able to take my blood is gross to me. 🤮

Again the intent is good but that kind of stuff just seems dystopian.

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Not a huge fan, if one were implemented it would need to be completely voluntary. They could do it like being an organ donor, you have the option to sign up when you obtain a drivers permit or some shit like that.

 

At the end of the day, the only place I intend to deposit my DNA is in and around your mothers.

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I would never encourage the idea of someone bring forced to give up a sample of DNA for storage. I wouldn't even want it in the hands of the police or the state in total capacity. As with more and more things in the future, it will probably be a privately held database used by research conglomerates, like 23andMe.
 

One of the largest predictors of depression is a genetic profile passed on by depressed parents, and studies using genetic information from 23 and Me have isolated markers for increased depression. I imagine a parent might want to know this about their child in order to facilitate a healthier, more active lifestyle.

I'm trying to think of a nefarious manner in which DNA could be used beyond framing someone of a crime, but other than a eugenics "arms race", debatably a net positive, I'm struggling to think of one.

 

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16 hours ago, The_Biggest_Rat said:

...  I wouldn't even want it in the hands of the police or the state in total capacity. As with more and more things in the future, it will probably be a privately held database used by research conglomerates, like 23andMe ...

... I'm trying to think of a nefarious manner in which DNA could be used beyond framing someone of a crime, but other than a eugenics "arms race", debatably a net positive, I'm struggling to think of one.

 

Let me stop you right there!

DNA-testing company 23andMe has signed a $300 million deal with a drug giant.

DNA-testing companies like 23andMe sell your genetic data to drugmakers and other Silicon Valley startups.

Privacy concerns after 23andMe shares genetic data with major drugmaker.

 

Unfortunately the security of something is only as strong as its weakest link and I often stress this to people. Just because an organization, government, whatever is "big and successful" doesn't mean they are also competent. You could have a lazy or malicious employee do something with the data, something could be accidentally revealed, and once that data is out there these days it's out there forever.

Legality and morals and ethics can and never will apply (imo) as long as humans are involved.

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Big business and big government are serious butt buddies anyways, I wouldn't trust a private database anymore than a government one. I just want to go live in the woods and be left alone, if I die of some preventable genetic disease so be it.

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Drug manufacturers being interested in the blind data sourced from voluntary DNA sources is not a bad thing. Ooohhh so scary, they might make drugs that help people better!

 

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I don't think the drug manufacturer thing in particular is the problem, its the private database holders willingness to sell the data and the fact that agreeing to use their service allows them to do so that raises some concerns.

I would love to be able to nail down my heritage precisely, there are a few things I simply will not hand over willingly and my DNA is one of them. I fully understand why some people are willing to submit the information though, so no judgment passed on anyone who does.

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This is a good reason why you don't currently want a database of people's DNA: 

 

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