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UC Berkeley Requesting DNA Samples from Incoming Students

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These Are Your Genes. These Are Your Genes On Alcohol Berkeley's incoming freshmen will get DNA tests instead of summer reading assignments, in a program meant to educate students about healthy behaviors. wikimedia commons/Human Genome Project

First universities started using RFID chips to track students' attendance. Now they want their DNA. The University of California-Berkeley, that bastion of hippiedom and experimentation, is replacing its summer reading list with a call for incoming students to voluntarily provide DNA samples.

New freshmen will be given cotton swabs with which to dab their cheeks. They'll be collected and anonymously analyzed, showing the students' ability to tolerate alcohol, absorb folic acid and metabolize lactose, according to USA Today. Students can log in to a Web site to check their results, using an anonymous bar code that comes with the cotton swabs.

The idea is to inform students if they should eat more salad, for instance, or limit their milk or alcohol intake.


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