June 26, 2013

How chewing gum or a shed hair can let strangers read your ‘Book of Life’

Someone finds that piece of chewing gum you pitched today, uses the saliva to sequence your DNA and surreptitiously reads your book of life — including genetic secrets like your susceptibility to diseases. If that scenario, posed in an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, causes a little discomfort, consider this: That stranger also uses the DNA to reconstruct a copy of y-o-u.