News of the WeekGenetic Disease

Storm Brews Over Gene Bank of Estonian Population

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Science  12 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5443, pp. 1262-1263
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5443.1262

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TALLINN, ESTONIA-- A group of Estonian geneticists presented a plan late last month to the Estonian government and the scientific council of the University of Tartu to collect extensive health questionnaires and blood samples from over 70% of the country's population of 1.4 million over the next 10 years. They will commit the information to a database that will be used for research as well as individual health care purposes. But the proposal may not get an easy ride: As news of the plan begins to leak out, it is provoking a heated reaction in some medical circles.