News of the WeekEpidemiology

U.K. Plans Major Medical DNA Database

Science  18 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5456, pp. 1184
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5456.1184b

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Following the examples of Iceland, Sweden, and Estonia, the United Kingdom is drawing up plans to create a national database linking the DNA of 500,000 of its citizens to their medical records and lifestyle details. Its main goal is to tease apart the genetic and environmental components of conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer and, eventually, to come up with new drugs to treat--or even prevent--these conditions. An expert panel is currently hammering out a strategy for setting up the database and is due to report its recommendations next month.