Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

UC Berkeley asks students for more than SAT scores – DNA

by Patt Morrison

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UC Berkeley sent cotton swabs to students asking them to take a saliva sample and then send it back. But why? William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

When you think of a Freshman entering college you probably think of trips to IKEA and learning where the mess hall is, but do you think of DNA? You will now. UC Berkeley is asking 5,500 new and transfer students to volunteer some of their DNA to be tested for reactions to lactose, folic acid and alcohol and they think that about 1,000 will respond. There is no penalty for students that choose not to “return-swab-to-sender,” but privacy advocates remain troubled that students will feel pressured to hand over their cells, because, well, everybody else is doing it.


Dean Mark Schlissel, dean of the Biological Sciences Department at UC Berkeley

Jesse Reynolds, Director of the Project on Biotechnology in the Public Interest at the Center for Genetics and Society

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