Show Me the Data

Science  14 Sep 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5844, pp. 1485c
DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5844.1485c

Many gene hunters who trawl the entire human genome for disease genes will soon be asked to share their data. Starting 25 January, recipients of grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for “genomewide association studies” will be “strongly encouraged” to submit their data sets stripped of identifiers to a central database. The sharing will allow findings to be validated in many populations (Science, 11 May, p. 820).

NIH will give researchers who submit data sets a year to publish before others can use the data in their own publications. Privacy protections would prevent nonresearchers from using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain genetic and clinical data on an individual, NIH concluded. One academic says she hopes NIH will spell out how institutional review boards should comply with the policy.

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