Ownership and research use of genetic material

Think back to 20 years ago — who, at that time, could have predicted what we’re able to do with genetic information now? In particular, who would have predicted that some private companies would own their own genetic databases?

An interesting, or perhaps concerning, consideration with these private databases is that the use of these privately held materials for research is not governed by the same federal human subject protection regulations governing research we follow at UAMS.

A recent posting in The Conversation addresses some of the concerns related to ownership of, access to, and permission to use genetic materials. If there’s a possibility you’ll be involved in genetic research in the future, or even if you’re thinking of using one of those services like 23andme for your own direct genetic testing, we recommend you take a look to get an idea of some potential future complications.