I know that there are some efforts from scientists working with bladder cancer to perform liquid biopsy from urine for detection and monitoring of the cancer such as this one.
I've been searching online - but the "wastewater" search term gives me tons of hits about "microbiome" and several types of pathogens.
But I'm really interested in sequencing the sewage to find and analyze human DNA. I have been wondering about liquid biopsies to get an estimate of the cancer status of a population.
I immediately think of several problems:
1. Technical Feasibility
- Would we expect to find enough human nuclear DNA within the samples (taken across several days)?
2. Law and Bioethics
- Is it legal in the US or European Union?
- It could be difficult to get informed consent of all people who are connected to a certain sewage system. You may get informed consent from all residents but what about visitors?
- It could be difficult to opt out of such study the wastewater without a) moving to a different place b) using a septic tank.
- I only found this elaborating other privacy issues: its just about Cov-19 and drug testing; both of which are not able to identify individuals at a genomic level.
I'd appreciate your experience and thoughts and references!
[Edit] as suggested in the comments: I have posted part 2 of the question to the law stack exchange here