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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Genome detectives change the donation game

By Sara Reardon




Matching names to genes: The end of genetic privacy?


JewishWorldReview.com | Are we being too free with our genetic information? As increasing amounts of genetic information are placed online, many researchers believe that guaranteeing donors' privacy has become an impossible task.

The first major genetic data collection began in 2002 with the International HapMap Project, a collaborative effort to sequence genomes from families around the world. While its consent form assured participants that their data would remain confidential, it had the foresight to mention that future attempts to match a genome with its donor might succeed.

"The risk was felt to be very remote," says Laura Lyman Rodriguez of the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Md.

Remote but not impossible: In a paper published in Science in January, a team led by Yaniv Erlich, of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass., used publicly available genetic databases to put likely surnames to the anonymous DNA data in HapMap's successor, the 1,000 Genomes project. Then, using online phonebooks and the donor age and location information provided by the project, Erlich's team managed to identify about 50 of the donors (doi.org/j9c).

To prevent Erlich's method from being used successfully again, age data has been removed from the project's website. But the genie is out of the bottle, says Jeffrey Kahn of Florida State University, Tallahassee.

While someone is bound to find another way to identify genetic donors, says Rodriguez, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) believe it would be wrong to remove their genome data from the public domain. She says that full accessibility is "very beneficial to science," but acknowledges that a careful balance between confidentiality and open access is required.

It is especially pertinent, says Kahn, because genetic data carries information about family members as well as the donor. A relative's genome might reveal your own disease risk, for example, which you might want to keep secret from an employer. An individual's relatives could not prevent that individual from donating their genome, says Rodriguez, but would-be donors should discuss the risks and benefits with their families.


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David Craig, of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, Ariz., whose method of picking a person's genome out of a mix of DNA samples also led to NIH removing some data from the public domain, praises the work of Erlich's team. But he's not overly concerned about the implications at this point.

While Erlich was able to put names to a few genomes in the database, doing the reverse -- finding the genome of a certain person -- is still very difficult and has little payoff. But he acknowledges that as more people donate their genetic information, the greater the risk of someone being identified.

"We can't guarantee privacy anymore," says Erlich. He does not expect this to deter people from donating their genetic information: The fact that credit cards are frequently stolen doen't stop people from using them. That is because we trust that the legal system will protect our money; similar protections could help reassure people that their DNA will be safe.

"It's not about how to protect privacy anymore, it's how to not misuse data," Erlich notes.

(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)


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