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DNA Samples: UC-Berkeley Requires 3/4 of Incoming Fresh To Submit Them!

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posted on May, 23 2010 @ 06:13 PM
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"The DNA Assignment"

This fall, instead of a "status-quo common book or movie" assignment typical for its in-coming freshman, UC-Berkeley is making a controversial leap by requiring 75% of its new students to provide swab DNA to the top university:


This summer, the university’s College of Letters and Science -- home to three quarters of Berkeley’s 25,000 undergraduates -- will ask freshmen and transfers to return a cotton swab covered in cells collected from their inner cheeks in an effort to introduce them to the emerging field of personalized medicine.
“Science is moving so fast right now,” said Alix Schwartz, director of academic planning for the college’s undergraduate division. “If we assigned them a book, it would be out-of-date by the time they read it.” Last year's assignment for the program, called "On the Same Page," was Michael Pollan's account of food chains, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

This year, said Mark Schlissel, the college’s dean of biological sciences, a look at personalized medicine made sense. “For now, it’s mostly a research tool, but in the coming years it’s going to become part of everyday medical practice, based on your very personal genetics.”

Geneticists will analyze each sample for three genes: metabolism of folate, tolerance of lactose and metabolism of alcohol, all relatively innocuous and perhaps useful in students’ daily lives. Students will be able to use that information to learn if they should eat more leafy green vegetables, steer clear of milk products or limit alcohol intake.

The idea is not to identify potentially dangerous genes in students' samples, but to point out traits that can be managed through behavior, said Jasper Rine, a professor of genetics, genomics and development. “We want to get people to appreciate that there are things you can do that enhance your health based on the genes you have,” he said. “There are concrete, actionable, specific steps that do enhance quality of life. This is the message of the post-genomic era.”

Samples will nonetheless be kept confidential. Students will be sent two barcode stickers, one to attach to the submitted sample and the other to keep. “This is all going to be done with institutional safeguards for privacy,” Schlissel said. The university’s Committee for Protection of Human Subjects scrutinized the plans closely to ensure that the project would be “ethical and private and the like.”


Link to full article:

www.insidehighered.com...

UC-B is wrong to ask this from students for many, many reasons!!

In particular, as Jeremy Gruber of the Council for Responsible Genetics cites in a related letter:


...incoming students are in no position to make a “voluntary choice” as to whether to participate in such testing when being offered by the University that just admitted them. Indeed, a number of incoming students will even be below the age of consent to legally make such a decision. Which raises the question of whether you passed this solicitation of freshman DNA with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of your university.Additionally there remains serious questions within the scientific community over whether genetic information
can be properly de-identified and to put such “de-identified” information on the Internet is highly troubling, not to mention any clear statements on the retention of the genetic samples themselves.


Read full story/letter/links here:

www.insidehighered.com...

Now, would you submit to the swab to go the university, or allow your children to do so?

Is it because the state of California is bankrupt that UC-B is going to these lengths?

Is UC-B going to profit from private companies, as well as the feds, on this one? Strangely, it seems this new experimental assignment comes to fruition after the new health care bill passes.

Will the UC-B group serve as a benchmark for all citizens to be subject to from the feds?

Is this all benign in the name of future science/medicine, or is there more to it?





[edit on 23-5-2010 by sonjah1]




posted on May, 23 2010 @ 06:31 PM
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I dunno, I could see it being well-intentioned. It would make sense that any medical breakthroughs would be adapted for the good of the uc-berkeley community first. I could also see that being an attempt to slowly accustomate society to the idea of registering dna.

Who knows?



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 06:32 PM
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I read this a few days ago. I actually thought it was pretty cool and something that can help the students learn...and I'm always skeptical of this kind of stuff.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by CSquared288
 


What you say about slowly normalizing DNA registration for the general population could be true...and as the cliche says, as happens in Cali, happens elsewhere.

However, my mom had to go for emergency surgery at an East coast state university medical center--with no one else present with her at admission--and she says they swabbed her mouth and another cavitiy.

Is this just protocol now?

[edit on 23-5-2010 by sonjah1]



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by Portugoal
 


I teach at a university, and so I am passionate about students' learning.

But should the students really be forced to provide DNA?

Perhaps I'm naive and old-school



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by sonjah1
 


I expect the university is profiting from this, and it's being used as the thin end of the wedge.

One day all infants will have their DNA analysed at birth, if not before, and only those with "acceptable" traits will ever be allowed to procreate. The rest will be aborted, murdered or sterilised.

And by then, brainwashed people will agree this is the right thing to do.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by sonjah1
 


It's actually completely voluntary.



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by Kailassa
reply to post by sonjah1
 


I expect the university is profiting from this, and it's being used as the thin end of the wedge.



Yes! Apparently one of the creators of the "DNA Assignment" will most directly profit from this as he owns several biotech companies:


The project is part of UC Berkeley College of Letters and Sciences “On the Same Page” program, which asks incoming freshmen and transfer students to read the same book or view the same movie. This year, it will instead send out cheek-swab kits so that students can collect and return a DNA sample. It will also sponsor a contest in which entrants can win further DNA testing from direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe. Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development Jasper Rine, who is playing a lead role in the project, is a co-founder of several biotech companies including VitaPath Genetics, a genetic testing start-up company.

“This program may be good for the direct-to-consumer genetics industry, but it is an abuse of the trust that thousands of young students should be able to place in the university they’ve chosen,” Reynolds added.


Link to source:
www.geneticsandsociety.org...

[edit on 24-5-2010 by sonjah1]



posted on May, 24 2010 @ 12:20 AM
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Originally posted by Portugoal
reply to post by sonjah1
 


It's actually completely voluntary.


Agreed.

Agreed; that's if students want to voluntarily receive at least one C, D, or F during their first semester at Berkeley.


I have taught freshman courses that revolve around the common theme of a book, movie, or experience, and:

1. They must purchase, read/view/report on that book, movie, or experience,
2. Discuss it repeatedly within at least one, if not in all of their courses, for at least a semester or year, and
3. Analyze the common theme through oral/written work for a grade



posted on May, 25 2010 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by sonjah1
 


hmm that is most definitely sketchy. i understand, yknow, emergency surgery so she probably wasn't in the right state of mind to think of something like this, but did she voice an objection to the swabs? I'm not saying that the doctors may not have been pushy or even uncompromising, nor would i doubt them doing something like that on the sly just to get her into a database. it only takes once lolz



posted on May, 26 2010 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by CSquared288
reply to post by sonjah1
 


hmm that is most definitely sketchy. i understand, yknow, emergency surgery so she probably wasn't in the right state of mind to think of something like this, but did she voice an objection to the swabs? I'm not saying that the doctors may not have been pushy or even uncompromising, nor would i doubt them doing something like that on the sly just to get her into a database. it only takes once lolz




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