Unless you have an identical twin, your DNA sequencing is completely unique. However, despite this uniqueness, your genetic privacy may still be at risk.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office of the White House on June 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Trump’s administration recently enacted another blow to the American healthcare system. Early in July, it was announced that they would be deleting 20 years' worth of critical medical guidelines. This vast database of guidelines has been a treasure trove of critical information used by doctors and other medical professionals for the last two decades. The database went “dark” on July 16th, due to lack of funding.

As part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) maintained the database known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC).

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Photo Credit: Dubai Media Office.

The city of Dubai wants to get to know its three million residents well—you might even say better than they know themselves. As part of a project called Dubai 10X Initiative, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) plans to gather the DNA of each of its inhabitants with the stated goal of ending disease in its population. By creating a giant database of genetic disorders in Dubai’s population, the city hopes that researchers can develop customized treatments.

The project has three phases: First, a database will be created to build the necessary infrastructure for large-scale whole-genome sequencing. Next, artificial intelligence will accomplish the complex sequence analysis. According to the DHA, it will analyze longitudinal data to predict risks associated with genetic illnesses. The third phase will develop precision medicine in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and academia to design treatments. The hope is that such a plan will ultimately eradicate genetic diseases, or at least predict them, so that doctors can work with patients to develop treatment and prevention plans. The ultimate goal, says the DHA, is to create a “happy and healthy society.”

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US President Donald Trump looks on before delivering a speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 26, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

In yet another example of the Trump administration’s ongoing onslaught against mental health, federal health officials have frozen a database used by medical professionals, mental health specialists and community groups to access effective treatment and intervention resources for mental health and substance use disorders. The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) has served thousands of individuals and has been particularly useful in fighting the opiate epidemic, as well as other mental health crises.

According to The Washington Post, “The registry, which was launched in 1997, offers a database of hundreds of mental health and substance abuse programs that have been assessed by an independent contractor and deemed scientifically sound. Getting a program or therapeutic approach included in this registry amounts to receiving federal recognition as an evidence-based practice. Mental health and addiction specialists say they rely on this database as a key source for finding appropriate and effective therapies.”

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