News of the WeekEthics

DNA Returned to Tribe, Raising Questions About Consent

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Science  30 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5978, pp. 558
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5978.558

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A tiny tribe of Native Americans who live beneath the cliffs of the Grand Canyon is shaking up genetics research, thanks to an unusual out-of-court agreement with Arizona State University. Tribe members charged that their DNA had been collected by university researchers without proper consent; after a 6-year legal battle, the university has now agreed—among other concessions—to return more than 100 DNA samples to the Havasupai and pay $700,000.