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  • Hey there, welcome to Life Noggin !

  • You likely consider your body your property, right?

  • Well, you might be surprised to learn that the law isn't entirely clear whether you do own your body.

  • Apparently, you can't be you and own you at the same time, which is really quite confusing.

  • Things get a lot more intricate when we look at your genetic makeup, your DNA.

  • DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the genetic information that dictates how our bodies grow, function, and reproduce.

  • Humans share 99.9% of the same DNA but a peek at your specific sequences can reveal information

  • about your health, personality, family history, and even your relationships.

  • Each human's complete DNA sequence is different than anyone else's.

  • It's incredibly personal and experts have said that your genetic information is the most valuable thing that you have.

  • Just like you may have a social security number, home address, and credit card info,

  • this information should be guarded carefully.

  • But, some of you humans are totally fine giving your genetic information away to corporations,

  • research groups, and other third party organizations.

  • So far, 12 million of you have sent away samples of your DNA to consumer genetic testing companies

  • to find out information about your own genetic makeup.

  • By agreeing to the terms and conditions and sending off a vial of your saliva,

  • you're giving these groups the right to your DNA.

  • You're allowing them to sell this information, send it to research groups,

  • and do any number of things thanks to some incredibly broad wording of their fine-print.

  • And if your genetic info leads to some wild, medical breakthrough, you'll get nothing.

  • Which is pretty rude if you ask me.

  • So does this mean they own your DNA?

  • Do you own it?

  • People, organizations, and judges have been debating who owns DNA for years.

  • But after a court ruling in 2013, it was decided that DNA cannot be patented under US law,

  • which means no one can own someone else's DNA.

  • And it's not even clear if you own your DNA, which also contains your family's DNA.

  • Legally speaking, natural phenomenons and laws of nature cannot be trademarked or solely claimed.

  • This is the same reason why someone can't patent the element gold

  • and then claim that all the gold on Earth is theirs.

  • So while these companies can't own your DNA, they can own the sample that you gave

  • and the information they derive from it.

  • And I bet there are lots of hands you wouldn't want your genetic makeup to fall into.

  • For example, while it's technically illegal for employers and health insurers to discriminate based on genetics,

  • it would be difficult to prove that's why they fired you or didn't take you on as a customer.

  • And unfortunately, the legal future of your right to genetic privacy is unclear.

  • So while no one may own your DNA right now, who knows if that'll still be the case ten, twenty years from now.

  • So have you ever done a DNA test?

  • What did you find out?

  • Let us know in the comment section below.

  • Or tell us what should we talk about next.

Hey there, welcome to Life Noggin !

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B1 US dna genetic information genetic information owns family history

Who Owns Your DNA?

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/03/27
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