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Whose DNA is it anyway? | Bioethics.net.

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Whose DNA is it anyway?

Yaniv Erlich, a computer informatics and genetics researcher at the Whitehead Institute, and his colleagues published a paper in Science where they explained that Erlich and his then graduate student Melissa Gymrek had re-identified 50 of the 1000 Genomes samples. Erlich and Gymrek developed a tool that allowed them to quickly identify repeated areas of DNA on the Y chromosome and applied that technique to 10 male samples from 1000 Genomes. Comparing that information to other web-based genetic databases—from the Center for Study of Human Polymorphisms (CEPH) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Human Genetic Cell Repository at the Coriell Institute—provided ages, geographic location, and even family trees that enabled Erlich and Gymrek to identify 50 of the 1000 Genomes donors. In short, they could re-identify the de-identified data.

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