Groups object to DNA testing of students at University of California

Aug. 13, 2010
School had proposed gathering DNA samples from incoming students
From The Los Angeles Times: The University of California, Berkeley, says it will scale back its controversial plan for voluntary genetics testing of incoming students. In response to a state Public Health Department ruling on how DNA samples should be handled, UC Berkeley scientists have abandoned the idea to have freshmen and transfer students individually and confidentially learn about three of their own genetic traits. Instead, only collective results for all the 1,000 or so participants will be available and discussed at the orientation seminars next month. MAY 2010...from The San Francisco Chronicle: Genetic watchdog groups want the University of California, Berkeley, to suspend plans to ask incoming freshmen and transfer students to supply a DNA sample to participate in what is considered the first mass genetic testing by a university. The Center for Genetics and Society and the Council for Responsible Genetics say the project disregards the potential harmful use of the information. Earlier...from The New York Times: The University of California, Berkeley, is planning to give incoming freshmen a cotton swab on which they can, if they choose, send in a DNA sample. The university says it will analyze the samples, from inside students’ cheeks, for three genes that help regulate the ability to metabolize alcohol, lactose and folates. Students with certain genetic markers may be able to lead more healthful lives by drinking less, avoiding dairy products or eating more leafy green vegetables.

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