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UK tissue act consolidates samples

New law that requires licenses for stored tissue is encouraging researchers to consolidate their samples into central repositories

Stephen Pincock
Britain's new Human Tissue Act, which comes into force Friday (September 1), has prompted some research institutions to begin consolidating their tissue samples into central repositories, a phenomenon that is likely to make life easier for researchers, scientists said today.The law, which requires that establishments storing tissue for research must be licensed by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), has prompted institutions to take stock of what tissue samples their researchers have stored, and in some cases bring them under a centralized administrative system, said Finbarr Cotter, professor of experimental haematology at Barts and The London Medical School."This is really about understanding what we have in our fridges and freezers," he told The Scientist. "It's starting to put a bit of order into what was not very ordered beforehand."The new legislation was developed in response to events at Liverpool's Alder Hey Hospital and Bristol Royal Infirmary, where organs from...

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