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Nature: Database free for all
Submitted by Marcos Oliveira de Carvalho; posted on Friday, May 02, 2003
Submitter An article by Helen Pearson:

``Human Genome Organisation calls for open-access sequence repositories.

``Databases of genetic information could be run like libraries or radio stations to keep them available to all, researchers suggested this week.

``The ethics committee of the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) released a statement calling for all genetic information in databases to be freely accessible in perpetuity. Such databases, which hold DNA sequences or related biological information such as protein interactions, are proliferating.

``These records could lead to medical treatments, so they can be financially valuable. Some are already in private hands - famously the human genetic sequence produced by US company Celera Genomics.

``The HUGO committee hopes to forestall a situation in which databases are commonly privatized. `The impetus should be to give people knowledge rather than gaining money,' says bioethics researcher and committee member Abdallah Daar of the University of Toronto, Canada.''

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