New Research Challenges Rationale for Government DNA Collection

Officials have said they're just gathering junk DNA, but scientists say there's no such thing


On September 19, the Ninth Circuit is set to hear new arguments in Haskell v. Harris, a case challenging California's warrantless DNA collection program. Today EFF asked the court to consider ground-breaking new research that confirms for the first time that over 80% of our DNA that was once thought to have no function, actually plays a critical role in controlling how our cells, tissue and organs behave.

This research comes out of a gigantic nine-year, federally-sponsored, world-wide project called ENCODE (Encyclopedia Of DNA Elements), which was designed to learn more about "junk" DNA. These research findings should have broad ramifications for federal and state DNA collection programs.