AUG 21, 2013 12:00 PM PDT

Genome Hacking

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  • Principal Investigator, Andria and Paul Heafy Family Fellow, MIT Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
      Dr. Yaniv Erlich is Andria and Paul Heafy Family Fellow and Principal Investigator at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He received a bachelor's degree from Tel-Aviv University at Israel and his PhD from the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2010. Dr. Erlich's research interests are computational human genetics. His research featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and NPR. Dr. Erlich is the recipient of the Harold M. Weintraub award, the IEEE/ACM-CS HPC award, Wolf Foundation Scholarship for Excellence in Exact Sciences, and he was selected as one of 2010 Tomorrow's PIs team of Genome Technology.


    Sharing sequencing datasets without identifiers has become a common practice in genomics. We recently showed that some datasets can be fully re-identified by using entirely free, publicly accessible Internet resources. I will present quantitative analysis about the probability of identifying US individuals by this technique on hundreds of genetic datasets. In addition, I will demonstrate the power of our approach by tracing back the identities of multiple whole genome datasets in public sequencing repositories.

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