Human DNA is everywhere. That’s a boon for science – and an ethical quagmire.
Published: Monday, May 15, 2023
Published May 15 in Nature Ecology and Evolution, the paper by Whitney Laboratory Assistant Professor of Wildlife Disease Genomics and Rising Star Condron Family Endowed Assistant Professor Dr. David Duffy and his group outlines the relative ease of collecting human DNA nearly everywhere they looked.
“We’ve been consistently surprised throughout this project at how much human DNA we find and the quality of that DNA,” Duffy said. “In most cases the quality is almost equivalent to if you took a sample from a person.”
Now, scientists and regulators must grapple with the ethical dilemmas inherent in accidentally — or intentionally — sweeping up human genetic information, not from blood samples but from a scoop of sand, a vial of water or a person’s breath.
Read the full article in UF News and other international and national news articles below.
Human DNA is everywhere. That’s a boon for science – and an ethical quagmire
Your DNA Can Now Be Pulled From Thin Air. Privacy Experts Are Worried.
Human DNA can now be pulled from thin air or a footprint on the beach. Here’s what that could mean
Privacy concerns sparked by human DNA accidentally collected in studies of other species
Inadvertent human genomic bycatch and intentional capture raise beneficial applications and ethical concerns with environmental DNA
Nature Ecology & Evolution
You shed DNA everywhere you go – trace samples in the water, sand and air are enough to identify who you are, raising ethical questions about privacy
Your e-DNA is in some seriously weird places – here’s why that’s a big privacy concern
BBC Science Focus
You shed DNA everywhere you go, what if it's collected?
Image credits: Boat (Dr. Todd Osborne), Beach (Dr. David Duffy)