Intimate Knowledge

Would you give a sample of your genetic code to government scientists or tell Uncle Sam to keep his hands off your DNA? Kansas Citians will have the first word on what could become a national debate about the creation of a U.S. “biobank.” Already established in countries such as Sweden and the United Kingdom, biobanks collect biological samples and detailed health profiles from thousands of volunteers. Proponents argue that such databases help medical researchers explore the complex factors that cause common diseases and could lead to lifesaving cures. Then again, opponents cringe at the idea of Big Brother having access to their intimate biology. To take the pulse of ordinary citizens on the controversial idea, the Genetics and Public Policy Center is sponsoring the first of a national series of town-hall meetings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill). For more information, see dnapolicy.org.

Sat., March 8, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 2008