Scientists are looking for 100,000 volunteers prepared to have their DNA sequenced and published online for anyone to look at. The UK Personal Genome Project could provide a massive free tool for scientists to further understanding of disease and human genetics.
Unlocking the secrets of DNA could transform the understanding of disease. A deeper understanding of Alzheimer's disease is emerging by looking for differences in the DNA of people with and without the disease. DNA from at least 100,000 people could lead to advances in common diseases, such as diabetes.
There is potentially huge public benefit, but there is also a significant downside: privacy.
Participants will get an analysis of their DNA, but so will the rest of the world, and anonymity is not guaranteed. While people will not have their name published, studies have shown it is possible to work out someone's identity from genetic databases and other public records.
You can read more about this interesting study in an article by James Gallagher in the BBC News Health and Science web site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24834375.
I think I will participate.