Browse an up-to-date collection of news from the major scientific and media publishers. Click on the news to be immediately redirected to the original source. Please contact us about any other relevant news.

New strategies for securing Beacon datasets

In the United States in 2015, the number one target for cyber-attackers was health data. While that number is shrinking thanks to efforts by the security and privacy research community, health data are still a very common target of cyber-attacks.

7 April 2017, GA4GH News

In a paper recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Information Association, Baker and a team of GA4GH volunteers led by genomics security expert Jean-Pierre Hubaux put forth three new strategies for mitigating the risks of cyber attacks on Beacon datasets….Read more >>>

Genetic data

Are the muddled laws and ethical questions surrounding privacy of genetic data impeding pharma research?

PharmaTimes magazine – April 2017

To gain access to this data, the public may have to be willing to share their own genetic information – but is this something they want?…Read more >>>

Is privacy the price of precision medicine?

Personalized medicine promises much. New initiatives aim to harness technology and genomics to create bespoke medicine, customizing your healthcare like your Facebook profile. Instead of relying on generic practice guidelines, your doctors may one day use these new analytic tools to find the ideal treatment for you.

26 March 2017, Oxford University Press

But this precision has a price that science and medicine don’t acknowledge. Personalized medicine demands that we all contribute our medical histories and genomes to the big data research pool. The science works only if the numbers are very large; so large that some envision every patient as a subject whose medical data will be shared for research. As this future unfolds, you will, of course, be assured of your privacy. Unfortunately, that’s a promise science cannot honestly make and you should not believe….Read more >>>

Do Your Family Members Have a Right to Your Genetic Code?

Vast collections of DNA data could lead to very real advances in medicine. But they also could be used — or misused — for a variety of reasons.

22 November 2016, MIT Technology Review

In August 2015, Samantha Schilit went to her primary care doctor to get a blood draw. A PhD candidate at Harvard specializing in human genetics, she was itching to unlock the secrets of her genes with a test called whole-genome sequencing, which provides a full readout of a person’s DNA…Read more >>>

The Promise and Perils of Sharing DNA

Vast collections of DNA data could lead to very real advances in medicine. But they also could be used — or misused — for a variety of reasons.

13 September 2016, Undark

WHEN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA hosted a summit earlier this year on his research initiative to gather DNA samples and medical histories on a million volunteers, he highlighted the delicate balance between science and privacy inherent in genomic information…Read more >>>

New System In Place for Protecting Patient Privacy in Genomic Databases

Genomic databases were introduced to provide medical staff access to shared information on genomes that will enable better diagnosis’ and are useful tools for further research development.

20 August 2016, Trendintech

But, because there is a significant amount of personal data stored on one single database it poses high-security risks that people’s medical histories may be accessed for the wrong reasons. However, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Indiana University at Bloomington have recently disclosed…Read more >>>

Protecting the privacy of genomic databases by mixing in ‘noise’

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Indiana University at Bloomington have developed a system for protecting the privacy of patient information in genomic databases used for medical research.

17 August 2016, Health Data Management

A cryptographic technique called differential privacy permits database queries for genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which try to find correlations between particular genetic variations and disease diagnoses, while reducing the chances of compromising personal health information to almost zero, according to researchers writing recently in the journal Cell Systems…Read more >>>

Spiking genomic databases with misinformation could protect patient privacy

Technique that adds noise to genetic data would enable much faster access to large data sets.

15 August 2016, Nature News

Large genomic databases are indispensable for scientists looking for genetic variations associated with diseases. But they come with privacy risks for people who contribute their DNA. A 2013 study1 showed that hackers could use publicly available information on the Internet to identify people from their anonymized genomic data…Read more >>>

Patients File HIPAA Complaint Against Myriad Genetics for Withholding Variant Data

Four patients have filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights accusing Myriad Genetics of violating a federal law by withholding variant data detected during testing.

19 March 2016, GenomeWeb

The patients — Barbara Zeughauser, Ken Deutsch, Runi Limary, and AnneMarie Ciccarella — received genetic testing from Myriad to assess their risk for cancer. In February, asserting their rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, they requested access to all genetic variants identified during testing….Read more >>>

NIH funds new studies on ethical, legal and social impact of genomic information

Four new grants from the National Institutes of Health will support research on the ethical, legal and social questions raised by advances in genomics research and the increasing availability of genomic information.

17 May 2016, National Institutes of Health

The awards will fund researchers at interdisciplinary centers through the National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) Centers of Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research (CEER) program. The projects will examine the use of genomic information in the prevention…Read more >>>