Genetic governance: the risks, oversight and regulation of genetic databases in the UK
Increasing scientific and commercial interest is being paid to the creation of large population-based genetic databases to study the relationship between genes and disease. This paper will use ideas from the sociology of technology to look at the network of actors involved in the production, use and commercial exploitation of human genetic data, the social and ethical issues posed by genetic databases and the development of new governance arrangements in this domain. It will be argued that we are witnessing the creation of a new type of research system in the field of human genetics, which also forms the centre of an emerging market for personal and population-based genetic information. Some proposals for improving the governance of human genetic data in the UK will be offered in conclusion.
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