NIH Seeks One Million Volunteers for Medical DNA Database

This article isn’t about genealogy but it does concern DNA, a tool used by many genealogists. I suspect many genealogists will be interested in this:

“The National Institutes of Health has begun recruiting volunteers for a $1.46 billion medical database that will eventually comprise data on more than one million people, an effort to discern the genetic underpinnings of a range of diseases and even of healthy aging.

“The endeavor by the nation’s leading government medical-research entity is aimed at deciphering the workings of poorly understood maladies ranging from cancers to migraines to dementia. The database will be open to medical researchers and will initially consist of data on volunteers age 18 and up, regardless of health status. Children will be eligible beginning in 2019 if their parents or guardians consent.

“The program called All of Us has already enrolled more than 25,000 people in its pilot stage but will be recruiting more in communities large and small in public events beginning Saturday in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Birmingham, Ala.; Kansas City, Mo.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Pasco, Wash.

“People interested in participating can gain access to these events through a website—that explains the purpose of participating in genetic research.”

Again, this is for medical research, not for tracing family history. You can read more in an article by Thomas M. Burton in the Stock-Sector.com web site at: http://stock-sector.com/nih-seeks-one-million-volunteers-for-medical-database.

4 Comments

I really need to know how to find out if they’re ever going to come to the San Francisco area. I would do this in a heartbeat if it helps them figure out what to do with migraines in the future!

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Reading the linked article leaves a lot of questions. The DNA donation is to be accompanied by an extensive medical history. There was no mention of privacy or anonymity.
In a publicly funded government project, who in the government or private insurance industries would have access? Imagine being charged more for Medicare because a grandparent died from tuberculosis or a great aunt was mentally ill.
A lot of pertinent questions here with no answers. In there era of data miners, sometimes a little paranoia is a healthy thing.

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David Paul Davenport May 4, 2018 at 3:23 pm

I find it very unfortunate that they plan to strip all personal identifiers when they complete this database. This will preclude the greatest scourge we face, namely inherited pre-disposition for certain diseases.

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There was a time I’d have signed up for this in a minute. Under this administration, I no longer feel we can trust our elected officials.

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