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Our genomes today: time to be clear

Jeantine E Lunshof12* and Madeleine P Ball1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02215, USA

2 Section Molecular Cell Physiology, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Genome Medicine 2013, 5:52  doi:10.1186/gm456

Published: 27 June 2013

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

DNA is an identifier. We are not defined by our genome, but our DNA is ours and we can be identified through it. Despite the comments made at the time, it was neither wicked nor tacky when Craig Venter, shortly after the first human genome sequence was published in 2001, publicly revealed that he was one donor of the samples used in Celera's genome sequencing project [1]. Venter later explained that by identifying himself as a donor he had intended to demystify the human genome and to reduce public fears about the potential misuse of genetic information [2].