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UC Berkeley DNA Testing Program Changes and Students Will Not Receive the Results

Posted Aug 14 2010 11:39pm

Around 700 students though already have their results so there were in under the wire.  The test still will be conducted but with anonymous identities and used for research.  No word yet on any changes at Stanford as their program offers image interpretations and are not used for research and the program is offered to medical and graduate students in the form of an eight-week elective summer class so it’s not a mass testing. 

Stanford cannot use the students' physical DNA samples for research because 23andMe destroys DNA samples after testing, and Navigenics—although it may preserve the sample for a year—eventually does the same (also giving customers the option to request earlier destruction).  You can read more about both programs at the link below.  BD 

Under pressure from public health officials, the University of California, Berkeley, professors behind a controversial plan to genetically test incoming freshmen and transfer students said they will scale back the program so that participants will not receive personal results from their DNA samples.

The university raised the ire of genetic-watchdog and privacy groups in May when it first launched "Bring Your Genes to Cal." The voluntary program is believed to be the largest genetic-testing project at a U.S. university.

The 5,500 incoming freshmen and transfer students for the fall semester received testing kits in the mail and were asked to submit cheek swabs of their DNA to kick off a yearly exercise to involve the new students in a common educational experience centered on a theme. This year's theme is personalized medicine.

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