Timothy Caulfield, professor and research director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta in Canada, led a consensus workshop to develop rigorous guideline recommendations for research ethics boards. The results appear in the current issue of PLOS Biology (March 2008).
Researchers met to develop these recommendations because national and international funding initiatives have substantially increased whole-gene research activities, and media coverage of both the science and the emerging commercial offerings related to human-genome research has heightened public awareness and interest in personal genomics, says Caulfield.
“Yes, these are early days in the field of human-genome research, but research ethics guidance is needed immediately,” said Caulfield. “With how fast this research is growing, it is necessary that we develop carefully considered consensus guidelines to ensure ethical research practices are defined for all.”
Some key recommendations of the paper include the right for participants to withdraw consent (which includes the destruction of tissue samples and written information); the issues associated with participants’ family members and relevant groups; and the means of obtaining clear consent from participants for possible future use of their genes.
“As technology continues to advance, whole-genome research activities seem likely to increase and expand,” says Caulfield. “As the pace of this research intensifies, we need to continue to explore the ethical, legal and social implications of this rapidly evolving field.”
The researchers note that the policy recommendations covered in the report are not the only issues that need to be considered. Commercialization, patenting, benefit sharing and the possibility of genetic discrimination are among other topics that warrant discussion in the future.
Kris Connor | alfa
Bioenergy cropland expansion could be as bad for biodiversity as climate change
11.12.2018 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen
How glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
11.12.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
03.12.2018 | Event News
11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
11.12.2018 | Information Technology