At Building Confidence, Russ Altman recapitulates his translational bioinformatics "Year in Review" talk in which he highlighted three papers. The first, from Homer et al., shows that if you have a person's genotype data, you can determine if they are part of a DNA mixture. Altman adds that that's a decent "if," and he's said that "DNA anonymity is basically a fiction." He then moves on to Nyholt et al.'s paper that resolved Jim Watson's APOE status by using linkage disequilibrium correlations. Altman comments that scientists should "be careful what you release, because you may be releasing more than you think." Lastly, he points to the Christley et al. paper that showed that Watson's genome can be compressed to 4.1 Mb and emailed. "So the full circle (?) is achieved: we identify genomes, we infer things about them, and then we email them to our friends."
In Case You Missed It, Altman Rounds Up the Past Year
Mar 23, 2009