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23&ME sells human genomes for $300,000,000

Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita that the body is a machine in which the soul sits.

Are one’s soul and their DNA the same things?

GlaxoSmithKline has announced a four year deal with 23andMe that allows the drug company access to the genetic data in 23&Me’s database for  drug research.  The deal will last four years.

Of course the protests are already there!  On the Trumpie right, the challenge to Jesus and the soul is clear.  Does DNA contain the soul?  How will Smith Kine use this to control people?  The left, perhaps more rational, has similar questions … did people really give up their data for this?  Can any company own my DNA?

Fo my mind the issue is real.  At what point does data itself, whether owned by 23&ME, Amazon or Russia, become a weapon?  The data is “de identified.” That means there is no obvious way GLAXO can identify you.  But!  AI is powerful.  The database does contain the collections of diseases associated with your DNA and may also contain information on where you live and how old you are.  It is not difficult to imagine Google’s Deep Thought correlating this data with information on where different drugs are sold or how folks vote.

I think there is also a moral question here.  Who should own such data?  Should any company make a profit of of this?  Should that profit be shared with the people in the database?  How would you feel if the data were made public for scientists to use or placed in a database that charged for profit companies for use?


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