November 29, 2021

DNA in a Database


DNA in a Database
Yeah, I'd trust them with my genetic code. A Savin, Wikimedia Commons

You'd best start believing in cyberpunk dystopias. You're in one.

Russian oil giant Rosneft announced last week that it is beginning a sweeping program to create a database of Russian genomes, which we're sure will be totally fine and won't have any dire consequences.

The program was announced on a TV broadcast in the presence of President Putin, who is, of course, very trustworthy. And in case that wasn't enough evidence of some friendly dealings with the state, Rosneft has received a handful of tax breaks and funding for genetic research for the project, which seeks to map the different peoples of Russia by their genetic makeup.

The first stage of the program will cost 22.5 billion rubles (over $300 million) and will involve about a hundred thousand Russians, many of them employees of Rosneft. However, millions more from throughout the Russian Federation will eventually participate.

At least there might be birchpunk in the future.

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