The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why not use the UK DNA database for research?  (Read 2080 times)

Paul Anderson

  • Guest
Why not use the UK DNA database for research?
« on: 30/11/2009 10:30:02 »
Paul Anderson  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Chris and team,

Before the UK Government destroy any of their DNA database, it should be turned over to the scientific community for any scientific statistical uses that might benefit the community. However, the question that might arise is whether or not the samples are representative of the population as a whole. If they were collected from both victims and possible perpetrators, then maybe they would be representative, but if they have only been collected from possible criminals that might suggest a bias and might caused biased results depending on what was being sought.

For example, someone might pose the question “Do prominent businessmen, top athletes, and politicians have something similar in their genes which is absent in that of the general population?” and then you might find that you do not have an adequate cross section in the database to determine that.
 
Regards
Paul
NZ

What do you think?


 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8676
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Why not use the UK DNA database for research?
« Reply #1 on: 30/11/2009 18:49:18 »
Three things strike me.
First is that I'm not sure I want any government scientist looking over my DNA without my explicit consent (and I am a government scientist btw)
Secondly what's the point of a database that's only full of young black men? OK I accept that's an exageration but there's a lot of truth to it.
(Perhaps I should make it clear that the data is biased because of the way it's collected rather than due to any particular aspect of young black men).
Thirdly they are setting up a properly organised database of legitimately collected data.
ukbiobank.ac.uk
Since there is a legitimate source of better data it would be a pity to give the police any excuse for delaying the destruction of any illegally held data.
(and in case you are wondering, no, I'm not on the database)
 

Offline that mad man

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 724
    • View Profile
    • My music
Why not use the UK DNA database for research?
« Reply #2 on: 30/11/2009 20:51:12 »
Thirdly they are setting up a properly organised database of legitimately collected data.
ukbiobank.ac.uk

Since there is a legitimate source of better data it would be a pity to give the police any excuse for delaying the destruction of any illegally held data.
(and in case you are wondering, no, I'm not on the database)

With regards to the Biobank. I think the way it has been set up a bit "pushy" for a voluntary scheme.

I was sent a letter with a pre booked day and time to attend an interview which surprised me and I'm sure some may think from the tone of the letter that they have to attend. After careful reading of the terms I declined as it states that they have full control over your DNA and can do whatever they wish with it. That to me could also mean sharing it with other parties and as its Government backed I don't trust them to have mine on any database.
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Why not use the UK DNA database for research?
« Reply #3 on: 01/12/2009 07:57:57 »
I would absolutely agree with this idea if it were not for the following:

As BC said, the chances are it would contain a disproportionate number of young blacks.
The UK government is very adept at loosing personal information.
The UK government has a habit of selling personal information to all and sundry.
The UK government has a habit of abusing information gathered form individuals.
They would make the UK taxpayer foot the bill, which would jump from an estimated 3m to 900m overnight.
Some overpaid quango would be set up to ensure data protection was properly conducted (except where the government is concerned), which would, some years later, be investigated over allegations of fraudulent activity (vis 'backhanders'), followed by a public enquiry which would sweep the whole affair under the carpet.

Like BC, I'm not on the database either, but if there isn't some improvement in the way this government conducts itself and their handling of the economy (and just about everything else) I think there could be whole lot of people joining the database.

Quote from: London Evening Standard 10/11/09
Shoplifting was fuelled by the recession and surged to record levels in the UK this year, according to reports today.

The value of retail goods stolen rose 20% to 4.88 billion in the year to June, a study by the Centre for Retail Research found.

The UK had the highest rate of shoplifting in Europe and only the US and Japan had higher levels worldwide.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Why not use the UK DNA database for research?
« Reply #3 on: 01/12/2009 07:57:57 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums