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Call to Share Genomic Data

The University of Brighton's Colin Smith calls on people who have had their genomes sequenced to make the data available to all, the Financial Times reports. It adds that Smith made his own genome available under an open consent agreement through the Personal Genome Project UK. Smith spoke at the British Science Festival.

Smith argues that the more data that's available, the better researchers will be at spotting health risks, FT adds. "A few genome sequences are not going to be all that useful but when thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of individual human genome sequences are in the public domain — and are linked to environment, personal traits and health information — it is going to be a different story," Smith says. 

Most genome sequences, though, are kept private, as, by their nature, they can contain sensitive information. Smith acknowledges that many people might be uncomfortable with sharing their genomic data widely, but hopes that they will weigh the plusses and minuses and choose to share, according to the Financial Times.