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'Genetic Paparazzi' Could Steal Celebrity DNA For Dark Purposes, Professor Warns

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'Genetic Paparazzi' Could Steal Celebrity DNA For Dark Purposes, Professor Warns

Celebrity fans can sometimes be passionate and bordering on crazy, and now there's a worry that infatuation could get more obsessive and even sinister.

Experts are now warning against 'genetic paparazzi' and the potential rise of 'celebrity DNA theft'. Yes that's right, actual stealing of DNA.

Law professors from Georgia State University and the University of Maryland are now arguing that 'genetic paparazzi' could soon be coming after the DNA of public figures, including celebrities and politicians.

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DNA stealing could potentially happen sooner than we think. Credit: Unsplash
DNA stealing could potentially happen sooner than we think. Credit: Unsplash

One blog post from Georgia State University, said: "Imagine being able to produce a child with your favorite movie star using the DNA from a strand of hair or flake of skin. What sounds like the plot to a sci-fi thriller is actually not that far from reality."

If this happened, not only could it be devastating but there are potentially no legal repercussions either.

As science and genetics quickly evolve, the courts systems (particularly in the US) remain ill equipped to deal with the effects of celebrity DNA theft. This could in theory cause hugely murky waters in relation to the consequences for those stealing DNA. That could throw the legal system into chaos, they argue – which could be bad news not only for celebrities, but for the general public as well. And it's not likely to change either.

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Law professors argued in their essay for The Conversation: "The U.S. Supreme Court is very unlikely to recognize new rights, or even affirm previously recognized rights, that are not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. Therefore, at least at the federal level, individual protections for genetic material and information are not likely to adapt to changing times."

Experts argue that DNA theft could be on the rise. Credit: Unsplash
Experts argue that DNA theft could be on the rise. Credit: Unsplash

With bizarre celebrity items such as chewing gum and half-eaten food ending up on eBay after a celebrity has touched it, the stealing of DNA could well happen, according to experts. These items contain genetic DNA, so could technically be used if someone wanted to use them to viably steal DNA.

Celebrities have apparently been aware of this already, and have taken measures. Pop star Madonna has reportedly been 'DNA paranoid' for the past decade and orders for her dressing rooms and areas to be fully sterilised after use, leaving no trace behind.

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Researchers wrote: "When disputes involving genetic theft from public figures inevitably reach the courtroom, judges will need to confront fundamental questions about how genetics relates to personhood and identity, property, health and disease, intellectual property and reproductive rights."

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/Instagram/@madonna

Topics: Technology, Science

Niamh Spence
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