Scientists, academics, and industry representatives appear to have mixed feelings about the National Institutes of Health's plan to create and make publicly available a centralized database of human genomic and phenotypic information derived from NIH-funded genome wide association studies (GWAS). The studies explore variations across the entire human genome in hopes of drawing correlations between genetic associations and phenotypic traits and diseases. "Whole genome information, when combined with clinical and other phenotypic data, offers the potential for increased understanding of basic biological processes affecting human health, improvement in the prediction of disease and patient care, and ultimately the realization of the promise of personalized medicine," the NIH said in announcing its proposal. The agency is soliciting comments on the proposal through Oct. 31, 2006, and plans a Town Hall meeting in December. The draft GWAS policy calls on NIH-funded investigators to submit genotypic and phenotypic data stripped of identifiable...

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