By Joseph P. Farrell
This one was spotted by my friend Dr. Scott De Hart, and by Mr. H.B., each of whom sent different versions of the story, and as always, I’m going to read a bit between the lines and do some high octane speculation. The essence of the story is that the US goobernment is seeking to build a database of DNA from 1,000,000 volunteers:
Let’s look at the first article. According to this, the volunteers are being sought for a new study to improve medicine, to make it more precise:
On Sunday, the U.S. government will open nationwide enrollment for an ambitious experiment: If they can build a large enough database comparing the genetics, lifestyles and environments of people from all walks of life, researchers hope to learn why some escape illness and others don’t, and better customize ways to prevent and treat disease.
“A national adventure that is going to transform medical care,” is how Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, describes his agency’s All of Us Research Program.
“One-size-fits-all is far from an optimal strategy,” Collins said Tuesday in announcing enrollment for All of Us.
The project involves “precision medicine,” using traits that make us unique to forecast and treat disease. Learning enough to individualize care requires studying a massive number of participants: The healthy and not-so-healthy, young and old, rural and urban, blue-collar and white-collar — and people of all races and ethnicities.
We get basically the same fluffy explanation from the second article:
The National Institutes of Health on Tuesday announced the launch of its attempt to enroll 1 million people in a landmark research effort aimed at developing “personalized” methods of prevention, treatment and care for a wide variety of diseases.
The second article however, reassures us that there is nothing to fear about losing the privacy of one’s DNA-medical records:
But NIH Director Francis Collins and the project’s director, Eric Dishman, said volunteers’ personal data will be carefully shielded. They noted that Congress expanded protections for federally funded research in the two-year-old 21st Century Cures Act, with an eye on this type of project.
They said the information is off limits to subpoenas and search warrants via “certificates of confidentiality” given to each subject. The rules protect researchers from being forced to release identifying information in judicial proceedings.
“This is something we thought about,” Collins said. “We knew this was going to be an issue in getting people comfortable.”
This from a government that spies on everyone, runs “FISA” star chamber courts, and basically doesn’t give a damn about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights any more. Oh, sure, they’ll tell us about all the wonderful hedges and safeguards they’ve built in to prevent leaks, and to protect privacy. That will work for a few years, then they will manufacture a reason to change the rules. We all know the game.
However, there are other reasons the goobernment would want to keep those records strictly off limits, and it lies in what was said in the first article: we’re told – as we always seem to be when one of these technologies or programs is unveiled – that this will be a long term health benefit as physicians begin to learn how to practice “precision medicine,” i.e., a therapeutic regime designed and tailor-fitted to an individual’s DNA, life style and so on. That’s probably true and I’m not doubting the explanation at all. Embroider this with jonquils and daisies, and the US goobernment can claim to continue its flower-strewn parade through history, being a beacon, a shining city on a hill, the exceptional nation spreading love, peace, joy, and healing to all.
As you might have guessed, I’m not buying the fluff, not for a moment. I suspect, rather, that eventually this will be used to insist that an individual’s DNA is not properly the property of that individual, but of the government. That’s a long (well, maybe not) way off, however, so I want to draw attention to the flip side of “precision medicine”. Imagine a biowarfare capability that is able to target, not specific populations, or genetic markers, e.g., a bioweapon designed to kill, let’s say, people with a certain color of eyes, or what have you. Imagine, rather, a biowarfare capability that is able to target ever narrower subsets of a population, based on combinations of genetic traits, lifestyle habits, and so on. Eventually, if the DNA data net is cast far and wide enough, one might envision bioweapons able to target specific clans, families, even individuals. (In fact, if you’ve been watching the television series Blacklist, starring James Spader and Meegan Boone, the concluding episodes of season 2 deal precisely with the use of such a technology to infect an individual and to conduct covert assassinations.)
“Precision medicine” I suspect will be the new “meme” that smiling faces from the lamestream corporate controlled media will be pushing and talking about over the next few months and years. And again, the health benefits are there; they are real, and they have great potential.
But “precision medicine” is but one covert laboratory away from “precision bioweapons.”
UPDATE: MORE ON THAT DNA I-MOTIF STRUCTURE AND “PRECISION MEDICINE”
Yesterday I blogged about what I suspect will become a major “meme” in the push to get people to voluntarily surrender their genetic information: “precision medicine.” As I pointed out yesterday, a new government program is seeking a million volunteers for the study which will cross-correlate individual’s genetic information with their health history, lifestyle, and so on, in order to create a new kind of medicine – “precision medicine” – which will avoid the “one size fits all” approach.
As I speculated yesterday, while all of this sounds good and plausible, there may be a very dangerous downside, namely, the development of precision beioweapons, i.e., not bioweapons that target a particular race or even “clan haplogroup” (if I may so speak), but even more precise types of bioweapons that could target specific families, or even specific individuals. As I pointed out, the idea has already made an appearance in fiction, with the television series Blacklist (James Spader and Megan Boone) and the end of its second season. With “precision medicine,” I fear we’re being given the public “fluff” explanation to sell the idea, and to begin to gather the DNA database to make the latter possibility draw closer to reality.
With that in mind, consider the abstract to this paper that was discovered and shared by Mr. B.G., regarding the curious discovery of a new type of genetic structure, the so-called “I motif” which I blogged about on this site recently (I should point out, I am really concerned here with only one statement in the abstract):
Now, I should confess that I haven’t the money to purchase a pdf copy of the full paper to every interesting scientific abstract that people share, but with this one I was tempted. But I refrained, because I suspect that this one statement is sufficient to the purpose of today’s high octane speculation. Recall that those i-motif four-stranded knots of DNA appear to be some sort of genetic regulatory structure in cells, according to the best contemporary thinking. They thus appear and disappear under certain conditions, in this case, the pH levels of cells. With that in mind, and with my speculations from yesterday about the darker uses of “precision medicine” in mind, consider this statement from the abstract:
By virtue of their pH dependent folding, i-motif forming DNA sequences have been used extensively as pH switches for applications in nanotechnology.
Now again, I’m no scientist of any sort, and certainly I’m far removed from being any sort of geneticist or biological engineer, but it strikes me – as it struck Mr. B.G. in his original email bringing this paper to my attention – that not only is this a potential delivery mechanism for “precision medicine” but also for the sorts of narrowing target-specificity for bio-warfare that I was entertaining in yesterday’s blog. On the positive side, imagine being able to deliver nanobots to repair damaged cells (or for that matter, to target diseased cells), based on the local pH conditions of the body, or based on some other biological marker of ill-health. Similarly, however, it could be used to deliver to a mass population, a bioweapon that would and could only be activated by a specific set of programmable parameters, for a clan, a family, an individual.
The bottom line? I suspect that when Mr. B.G. read my blog about the i-motif, and noticed this paper and alluded to these possibilities in his email, that he is on to something.
See you on the flip side…
Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.
Books by Joseph P. Farrell