WASHINGTON: A scientific breakthrough that calls into question the notion that genetic databases can be kept anonymous is the reconstruction of faces from people’s DNA by researchers. For the purpose of better understanding illness, research institutes routinely acquire thousands of human genomes.
The majority assure those who volunteer that their anonymity would be preserved. On the other hand, a research that was presented at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences and was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that such anonymity may not be achievable in the long term.
Researchers were able to identify individuals based only on their genomes after developing an algorithm to correlate genetic information with a person’s face traits and speech. “The genome stores all of the information that is used to identify an individual’s identity. It is used in the identification of individuals in legal proceedings all over the globe “explained Craig Venter, who works for the business Human Longevity Inc. and is situated in the United States.
Researchers were able to match headshots with the genome 80% of the time when given a sample size of 10 persons to work with. The training for the system consisted of data from just 1,000 individuals, and adding additional data would significantly enhance it. According to ‘The Times,’ Venter was recently cited as stating, “People need to understand these difficulties, and they should not be offered these false assurances that they would be kept hidden.”
According to Venter, “just like Google and others now sell advertising to you based on what is in your searches and emails, you could get adverts targeted to you based on what is in your genome.” [Citation needed] “Just like Google and others now sell advertising to you based on what is in your searches and emails.” The data might be used by medical insurance companies to determine which illnesses a person is more likely to get, and the businesses’ rates could be adjusted appropriately.
Published at : 10 Aug 2022 05:31 PM (IST)