So many people have had their DNA sequenced that they’ve put other people’s privacy in jeopardy

A new study argues that more than half of Americans could be identified by name if all you had to start with was a sample of their DNA and a few basic facts, such as the region where they live and about how old they might be.

More than 1 million Americans have already published their genetic information, and dozens more do so every day.

…One of them is the rise of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Companies such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe can sequence anyone’s DNA for about $100.

…The other essential element is the proliferation of publicly searchable genealogy databases like GEDmatch. Anyone can upload a full genome to these sites and powerful computers will crunch through it, looking for stretches of matching DNA sequences that can be used to build out a family tree.

…After a long day of painstaking work, they researchers were able to correctly name the owner of the DNA sample.

The authors said the same process would work for about 60% of Americans of European descent, who are the people most likely to use genealogical websites, Erlich said. Though the odds of success would be lower for people from other backgrounds, it would still be expected to work for more than half of all Americans, they said.

…If you can find a person’s third cousin in a genealogical database, then you should be able to identify the person with a reasonable amount of sleuthing, Erlich said.

So many people have had their DNA sequenced that they’ve put other people’s privacy in jeopardy – Los Angeles Times

hmmmmm

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$180bn investment in plastic factories feeds global packaging binge

The global plastic binge which is already causing widespread damage to oceans, habitats and food chains, is set to increase dramatically over the next 10 years after multibillion dollar investments in a new generation of plastics plants in the US.

…The new facilities – being built by corporations like Exxon Mobile Chemical and Shell Chemical – will help fuel a 40% rise in plastic production in the next decade

…“Around 99% of the feedstock for plastics is fossil fuels, so we are looking at the same companies, like Exxon and Shell, that have helped create the climate crisis. There is a deep and pervasive relationship between oil and gas companies and plastics.”

…The huge investment in plastic production has been driven by the shale gas boom in the US. This has resulted in one of the raw materials used to produce plastic resin – natural gas liquids – dropping dramatically in price.

…“There has been a revolution in the US with the shale gas technologies, with the fracking, the horizontal drilling. The cost of our raw material base has gone down by roughly two thirds.”

…“In the US, fossil fuel and petrochemical companies are investing hundreds of billions of dollars to expand plastic production capacity… All this buildout, if allowed to proceed, will flood the global market with even more disposable, unmanageable plastic for decades to come.”

…A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute with most ending up in landfill or the sea. 

$180bn investment in plastic factories feeds global packaging binge | Environment | The Guardian

Again, straws aren’t really the problem, folks.

Quote from Ford’s testimony spray-painted on Yale Law School entrance

A quote from Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was spray-painted outside the entrance to Yale Law School before being removed later on Monday.

…“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter …” was written on the concrete in paint.

Quote from Ford’s testimony spray-painted on Yale Law School entrance | TheHill

hmmm