COMMENT: DNA, GENETIC MATERIAL, AND A LOOK AT PROPERTY RIGHTS: WHY YOU MAY BE YOUR BROTHER'S KEEPER Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2013 Texas Wesleyan Law Review
Texas Wesleyan Law Review

COMMENT: DNA, GENETIC MATERIAL, AND A LOOK AT PROPERTY RIGHTS: WHY YOU MAY BE YOUR BROTHER'S KEEPER

Spring, 2013

Texas Wesleyan Law Review

19 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 967

Author

By: Colin McFerrin*

Excerpt



I. Introduction
 
Scientists identified the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA") in 1953 and completed the sequencing of the human genome in 2003; however, shows like CSI, Law & Order, and Forensic Files brought the concept of DNA to the forefront of society. Advances in technology, coupled with a stronger understanding of DNA and other genetic material, extended genetic applications into an array of fields and disciplines. Yet, the benefits to society in areas such as law enforcement, medicine, and research must be balanced with the rights, if any, an individual may have to genetic privacy.

On a daily basis, every individual unknowingly creates a genetic footprint. The hair near the shower drain, a discarded coffee cup, skin cells sloughed off onto an office chair, the empty soda can placed in recycling, the fork left on the table at a favorite restaurant, the cigarette butt from an afternoon break, the gum stuck to the bottom of a conference room table - these are but a few common examples in which individuals abandon their genetic material. Considering the role DNA plays in heredity, its ability to reveal propensities for various conditions and diseases, and the fact that, except for identical twins, DNA is unique to every individual, the question of genetic privacy emerges.

Part II of this Comment evaluates the science, applications, and legal issues surrounding DNA and genetic material. After examining the roles of chromosomes, genes, and replication, the concepts of familial DNA, abandoned ...
 
 
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