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Pentagon to use genetic code to identify perfect soldier?

In Americas, Tech on July 29, 2011 at 10:37 am

By Joe Wolverton

Old soldiers never die, they just pass on their genetic code?

report issued by a defense science advisory panel suggests that the Pentagon may begin collecting DNA from military personnel to identify the genome sequence that defines a good soldier. Findings reported by JASON, an independent group of scientists which advises the U.S. government on matters of science and technology, recommends that the Pentagon take advantage of “the rapidly falling cost of gene sequencing by preparing to engage in the mass sequencing of the genomes” of the men and women of the armed forces.

The physicists, biologists, chemists, oceanographers, mathematicians, and computer scientists that comprise the JASON project, point out that the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have access to an untapped source of valuable genetic information and are “uniquely positioned to make great advances” in the science of genetic research in this crucial field. Specifically mentioned are the decades of archived medical records and DNA samples already on file at the VA.

commentary on the report published by the ACLU claims:

Specifically, the report recommends that the Pentagon begin collecting [and] sequencing soldiers’ DNA for “diagnostic and predictive applications.” It recommends that the military begin seeking correlations between soldiers’ genotypes and phenotypes (outward characteristics) “of relevance to the military” in order to correlate the two. And the report says — without offering details — that both “offensive and defensive military operations” could be affected.

The privacy concerns of such a program are obvious. The threshold question that the Pentagon would have to…

Full article…

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