Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Call for a Public Program

Ireland needs a public national genome program, the Irish Times writes.

A current brain sample project is emblematic of the vacuum left by not having such a program, the Times' Karlin Lillington writes. There is a deadline this week, she notes, for people who have donated brain tissue, or their relatives if the donor has died, to decide whether their DNA may be used in additional research.

According to the Times, the private genetics research company GMI first sought a waiver from having to have to seek that additional consent. But after losing and appealing that request, it was told to make an effort to contact those individuals with a three-month deadline, the Irish Times adds. 

At its website, GMI says it is seeking to develop a Brain Tumour Information System for adults in conjunction with Beaumont Hospital, and that it would "improve clinicians' overall understanding of adult brain tumor biology and will hopefully lead to faster and more accurate diagnosis for adult patients."

Lillington notes, though, that part of the company's business model is selling access to its databases. "We lack a national public genome project (something that GMI says it supports) to offer such oversight, management and researcher support, and the necessary leadership for any commercial collaboration," she adds. "It is not the norm for private companies to have sole control of large national DNA databases, as is our current, evolving situation."