Genomics, among the dependencies and risks associated with our DNA data – rts.ch

Genomics, among the dependencies and risks associated with our DNA data – rts.ch


In recent years, companies that provide genetic analysis have been successful on the Internet and their success is enormous. The Ancestry.com leader spent $ 1 million on advertising in 2016 and has DNA from over 20 million people.

Genetic tests that are not prescribed by a doctor are called “entertainment”. In theory, the promise of this analysis is great. It answers the questions that every member of the human race has been asking since the dawn of time: who am I? Where do I come from? Will I grow old and healthy or sick?

So it tries to send a little saliva to one of these companies, as did the singer, writer and host of the RTS game Licia Chery. “Desire came from trying to understand where I came from in Africa, because the slave trade prevented genital mutilation.” His book “Black in color, The Journey of My Ancients through History”, published by Favre, traces his passion.

What the operators of entertainment genomics fail to identify is the reliability of their analysis and the risks they pose to us.

Internal data leaked

Depending on the dynasty, mistakes are very common among Afro descendants. The current African population has so far had a smaller sequence than those in Europe or America. However, it is only by experimenting with large numbers of people and creating symmetry that we can identify genetic variants specific to population and location.

The risk question is very sensitive because there is no data closer than our DNA. Even in an innocent genomic test, the sequence used is the same and shows a prediction of certain diseases.

Today, no major company, even the most secure, can fully protect itself from computer hacking. Possibly, DNA can be found anywhere, resold in a group on a darknet for example.

According to Samia Hurst, an ethics specialist and professor at the University of Geneva, “it is very difficult even for a professional to know what we will be doing with our DNA in fifteen or twenty years”, as it was twenty years ago. we have considered all the information we receive today and our genetic data.

Adrian Zerbini



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