Research Reveals Most People Do Not Want to Donate DNA to Science

Most people do not feel comfortable when asked to donate DNA to science. Researchers depend on DNA samples so the unwillingness to donate DNA has slowed genomics advancements, which puts all of us at a disadvantage.

Would You Donate Your DNA To Science?

A recent research study reveals the most people are either unwilling or unsure if they want to donate DNA to science. 

Genomic studies depend on donated DNA data samples from people who elect to donate DNA to science. A surplus of DNA helps researchers study sequencing and genetic variants across many disciplines. Without enough of it, researchers can’t progress as quickly as they can, which slows down industry advancements. 

The ⁠American Journal of Human Genetics recently published a report about the survey, “Your DNA, Your Say.” This report revealed that most survey participants were unwilling to donate their DNA because of privacy concerns and unsure of how the information will be used. 

Survey Implications About DNA Donations

Over sixty-four percent of participants were not familiar with DNA, genetic, and genome. However, they were familiar with genetic testing for information about family history and genetic diseases. Over the last few years, media attention has been focused on genetic information pertaining to locating family members, learning about ethnicity, and disease risks such as heart disease.

By raising awareness about all of the information DNA can provide, more people may be willing to donate DNA. This would in turn benefit genetic research and society. 

The survey also revealed trust was a big factor in donating DNA samples. Many participants viewed their DNA as personal data they didn’t want to be shared even if it was for scientific research. Informed consent made most participants weary because they didn’t know where or how it was being used. 

Why Donating DNA Is Important

Genomic data offers individuals a lot of health information beyond what we already know. This information can help people live healthier and happier lives because the information can be put to good use in many areas, including health care, mental health, and personal development.

Medical research projects are conducted every day trying to figure out how genetic testing can help people. They can’t continue without DNA samples.

Confidential and Private DNA Donations

donate dna to science

The research group noted there were differences in where participants lived. Those in Egypt, Germany, Poland, and Russia were more willing to donate, as were those in China, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. Participants from the United States were the least willing to donate DNA to science, and this could be due to how research and health care is approached in these countries.

With technological advancements over the last few years, people who donate DNA do not have to worry about privacy. All DNA samples are kept confidential and private. Donating DNA is as secure as having medical history reports stored electronically. HIPAA applies to genetic data in the same way,  but most people do not realize that when they are considering DNA donation.

Altruist Endeavor to Donate DNA to Science offers Altruist Endeavor - a philanthropic initiative that applies crowdsourcing to genomics. The platform creates a publically accessible ANONYMOUS database of genetic data. To learn more about the Altruist Endeavor initiative, ⁠click here.

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