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NIH genetic database "a good start"

New rules for sharing genome-wide association data will spur collaboration, but may complicate publication and subject consent, researchers say

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Researchers say the new NIH policy announced last week for sharing data from genome-wide association studies will increase interest in studies linking genotypes to diseases while securing the anonymity of study participants. However, some raised concerns about the specifics of the plan. "The basic idea is to make broadly available to the scientific community a lot of these detailed and expensive-to-get data," Howard Edenberg, director of Indiana University School of Medicine's Center for Medical Genomics, told The Scientist. "That, I think, is a worthy goal."The policy, to take affect next January, establishes a centralized repository at the National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information to which NIH-funded researchers working on genome-wide association studies (GWAS) must submit their data. It also sets guidelines for protecting research participant identities, publishing studies that utilize shared data, and securing intellectual property rights for researchers submitting data. A draft version...

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