, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 415-421,
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Date: 21 Oct 2010

Editorial: genetics, information and identity

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Introduction

IDIS is a multidisciplinary journal with a focus on identity in the information society. The information society is usually associated with information and communication technologies, such as computers, mobile phones and the Internet, and with information in the form of computer- or human-readable data. In this special issue on genetics, information and identity, however, we focus on a different type of information, namely genetic information. The DNA of the human genome is often called a ‘blueprint’ of human life, containing information that regulates—in various and very complex ways—most of the processes in human life. In this sense, genetics may well be considered an information technology in its own right.

Genetic information is becoming ever more important in society, although current knowledge of the human genome and how the genome relates to human life is still limited. Nevertheless, what knowledge we have about the genetic make-up of people—whether in terms of congen