DNA Research #DNA A Person's Family Relationships Can be Revealed By an Individual's Genomic Data- New Study in Cell #dna

Jan Meisels Allen

Stanford University Professor Noah Rosenberg has a new paper in Cell which
describes an algorithm that allowed them to identify parent-child and
sibling relationships whose genomic data were discordant. To see the paper
go to: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(18)31180-2

The study matched individuals where one person's data was available from
Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) genotypings and as a short tandem
repeat (STR) profile which is used in DNA databases run by law enforcement.
SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation-one SNP may replace
another nucleotide such nucleotide cytosine (C) may be replaced by
nucleotide Thymine (T) in a DNA block. According to the US National Library
of Medicine, being so common they occur once in every 300 nucleotides or
about 10 million SNPs in the human genome
(https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/genomicresearch/snp). A STR occurs when a
pattern of two or more nucleotides are repeated and the repeated sequences
are directly adjacent to each other . An STR is also known as a
microsatellite. (https://isogg.org/wiki/Short_tandem_repeat).

The study found using genome-wide SNPs 30-32 percent of parent offspring and
35-36 percent of sibling pairs can be identified >from the SNPS of one member
of the pair and the STRs of the other. It also revealed that privacy
concerns arising >from computations across multiple databases that share no
genetic markers in common entail risks, not only for database entrants, but
for their close relatives as well. They studied the possibility of matching
a forensic-genetic record in one database to a profile on a set of
non-overlapping genetic markers in a different database. They showed that
records could be matched between databases with no overlapping genetic
markers, provided that sufficiently strong linkage disequilibrium (LD)
exists between markers appearing in the two databases. It also uncovers
privacy concerns, as an individual present in a SNP database-collected in a
biomedical, genealogical, or personal genomics setting, for example-might be
possible to link to a CODIS profile, and vice versa, in a manner not
intended in the context of either database examined in isolation. CODIS is
the acronym of the Combined DNA Index System which blends forensic science
and computer technology in to a tool for linking violent crimes used by the

To read more about this paper and the previously reported paper in Science
by Ehrlich see: https://tinyurl.com/y96aq57s
Original url:

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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