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Genetic Databases - Flagship Project

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The overall objective of this project is to explore the ethical, regulatory and governance issues arising out of the use of genetic databases. This project has a number of strands around which individual projects are developed. These strands include comparative, statistical, ethical, regulatory and global dimensions. The work on each strand is parallel and continuing.

The rapid developments in molecular diagnostics and ever expanding wealth of biological data have challenged us with issues concerning the deciphering, storing, validating, annotating and integrating of information in different kinds of genomic databases. The use of genetic databases has come to the fore because of the magnitude of the available information, and the speed with which health care is transforming its basis to molecular medicine. These databases can be based on physical collections of (all kinds of) biological materials – ‘biobanks’ - or simply processed information in computers. They provide multiple research opportunities in the understanding of variability in human health, understanding of complex interactions such as gene-gene, genes–environment, and genotype-phenotype. Genetic databases provide new dimensions and new niches to examine the ethics of different traditions of research and to undertake a comparative analysis in different societies of the world and its implications on global health.


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Page updated: 8 November, 2005