In an aside to Traces of a Distant Past published in the July, 2008 issue of the Scientific American, author and Senior Editor, Gary Stix wrote:
"No matter what assurances are given, some groups will be reluctant to yield a cheek swab or blood sample. Investigators in this field may never achieve their goal of obtaining a set of samples that fully reflects every subtle gradation of human genetic diversity."
See specifically the side comment entitled Can You Spare Some DNA? at the top of page 8, below.
I've e-mailed the following to Gary Stix.
From: "Steve Holcombe"
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 12:02 PM
Subject: For GaryStix re "Can You Spare Some DNA"
You emphasize a very important point in this sub-article.
Would you have interest in an article exploring the movement from a documents web (the current web) to that of a data web (Web 3.0, semantic web)?
With the movement toward a data web there will be greater opportunities for 'data ownership' as defined by the actual information producers. The emergence of a data web should provide opportunities for ameliorating resistance to the sharing of genetic bio-material by empowering those who provide their genetic heritage with more direct, technological oversight and control over how the derived information is used, who uses, when they use it, etc.
I'm not saying that all American indigenous tribes would jump on the band wagon in providing their genetic material and information. That is, most people put their money in banks but there will always be a few who only put their money under their mattress, right? But there are technological means arising within the context of a data web that are specifically designed to address personal and societal fear factors that you well point out.
Hope to hear back from you.
It will be interesting to see if I receive a response from Gary Stix.