US: Harvard project to reveal DNA of 10 scientists

A number of top scientists have volunteered to have their DNA made public in order to kick-start a Harvard University project that hopes to eventually have more than 100,000 genetic profiles on the internet, writes Richard Alleyne in The Telegraph. The scientists include Steven Pinker, the prominent Harvard University psychologist and author, Esther Dyson, a trainee astronaut, and Misha Angrist, an assistant professor at Duke University.

The three are among the first 10 volunteers in the Personal Genome Project, a study at Harvard University Medical School aimed at challenging conventional wisdom that the secrets of our genes are best kept to ourselves. They have each donated a piece of skin to the project and agreed to have the results posted on the internet.

The project's goal is to speed up medical research by dispensing with elaborate precautions traditionally taken to protect the privacy of human subjects. The more genetic information can be made open and publicly available, nearly everyone agrees, the faster research will progress. Researchers admit that the project is as much a social experiment as a scientific one, and that the ramifications of having one's genetic information in the public eye are not yet known.
Full report on The Telegraph site