Fall 2011 SEAS newsletter is now available

Dive down into the genetic rabbit hole, learn about cool research, and discover other news around Oxford Street

The Fall 2011 edition of Topics features a cover article by Simson Garfinkel, "The Genetic Reformation: Rethinking Autonomy and Data Privacy."

Dean's Note: Down the Genetic Rabbit Hole

"While we cannot—and should not—stop technological progress, we have a responsibility as educators and leaders to decide how it will take shape," writes Dean Cherry A. Murray, "because it will undoubtedly shape us in return." [read more]

Feature Article: The Genetic Reformation

Just as Bibles translated into the vernacular helped power the Protestant Reformation, direct-to-consumer genetic testing is opening the door to a genetic reformation. By Simson L. Garfinkel. [read more]

Rethinking Privacy at Harvard

Experts at SEAS, CRCS, and the Berkman Center agree that policy and ethics risk falling far behind the pace of technological change, and that's very much an ongoing discussion at Harvard. [read more]

Around Oxford Street

Highlights from the past 6 months at SEAS, including updates and news about our community, research, awards, alumni, faculty, and engagement. [read more]

"Triple Academies" Event

In April, 2011, SEAS co-hosted two expert panel discussions at a symposium on "Privacy, Autonomy, and Personal Genetic Information in the Digital Age," which inspired this issue of Topics. Videos of both panel discussions are available here. [read more]

Not So Anonymous

De-identified prescription data: is it really anonymous? Visiting Professor Latanya Sweeney aims to make personal data more secure and to provide recourse for people who are harmed by privacy breaches. [read more]

"Disappointingly Average": A Personal Take on Genetic Testing

Science writer Simson Garfinkel, author of this issue's feature story, reflects on his experience with direct-to-consumer genetic testing. [read more]

Q&A with Steven Salzberg, Ph.D. '89

Salzberg, an expert in bioinformatics, has helped sequence the genomes of humans, anthrax, woolly mammoths, and numerous other organisms. Today, Salzberg is a professor of medicine and of biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University, where his research group develops algorithms and software for sequencing, assembling, and analyzing genomic data. He is a vocal advocate of open-source collaboration. [read more]

Q&A with Rachel Greenstadt, Ph.D. '07

Greenstadt runs the Privacy, Security, and Automation Laboratory at Drexel University, where she is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science. Her research group aims to develop autonomous systems that are trustworthy enough to handle sensitive data and important decisions. [read more]

Additional Resources on Genetics and Data Privacy

External sites for further reading on the topics covered in "The Genetic Reformation." [read more]

Topics: Ethics, Computer Science, Bioengineering, AI / Machine Learning