Call to develop DNA identification cards

Hyderabad: DNA ID cards can be developed for Indian citizens to serve as unique comprehensive identity cards, speakers at a DNA conference here said yesterday.
Such a DNA fingerprint card with a unique marker can not only be a single, comprehensive ID card for all purposes, but can also help provide better medical care for everyone, they said.
Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan has urged scientists to come together and release a single map to get rid of multiple maps. “We spend thousands of crores on ID cards every other day and then say it’s a useless card. It’s happened in the case of citizenship card, PAN card, a voter ID card and now they come on the Aadhaar card,” Narasimhan said at the inaugural session of the Fifth International Conference on “Emerging Trends in Applied Biology, Biomedicine and Bioforensics.”
Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad University, said DNA analysis has become so cheap that within a few years, instead of an Aadhaar card, one can have a sequence of Complete DNA with a unique marker. “The Adhar card is just a 16-digit identifier of your identity, but with a few thousand rupees everyone’s entire DNA sequence can be put on a card,” he said.
He said that with the DNA sequencing card, better medical facilities could be offered to everyone. This technology would also help to understand how populations are born, grow and spread, as well as the similarities between the DNA of different people.
The governor stressed the need to create a national database for DNA fingerprints in order to combat crime and various other problems. Noting that forensic testing was taking a long time, he also called for a facility to be set up to review emerging cases.
Narasimhan advised scientists to discuss the potential health risks to someone undergoing forensic testing. He questioned the reliability of the polygraph test and also pointed to the need for debate over whether the Narco scan is an intrusion into health. Police Director General B. Prasada Rao said advances in DNA technology have opened new avenues for research in biology, biomedicine and bioforensics.

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