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Student DNA Program Draws Criticism

GENETIC PRIVACY—U.S.

May 21, 2010

A program at UC Berkeley that would solicit voluntary DNA samples from students is raising privacy concerns, The Mercury News reports. The university plans to send cotton swabs to 5,500 incoming students, asking them to collect cheek samples to be tested for tolerances to folic acid, lactose and alcohol. The researchers plan to destroy the samples and have put other precautions in place to protect the data. However, criticism from the Council for Responsible Genetics and others has project officials taking another look. Biology Dean Mark Schlissel said, "The rapidity and energy behind the criticism have a validity we have to think about."
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