Privacy flap forces withdrawal of DNA data on cancer cell line

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On 11 March, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) issued a press release proudly announcing that a research team there had deciphered much of the genetic sequence of one of the most widely used cell lines in cancer studies and had made the information available publicly. But EMBL has now withdrawn that data and apologized for a perceived ethical lapse as it seeks to allay concerns that it violated the privacy of the woman who was the original source of the cells or that of her descendants.

“We have taken the data offline until the question has been resolved of whether the family consents to the public availability of genomic information on the cell line,” writes an EMBL spokesperson in an e-mail to ScienceInsider. “This case raises new questions, since there is no precedence for consent for cell line research, and there is no precedent for requirement of consent by relatives in genome sequencing.”

View the original article here: Privacy Flap Forces Withdrawal of DNA Data on Cancer Cell Line

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