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Guidelines for Genomics in Africa

Researchers in Africa have issued guidelines to govern genomic research in the region, Nature News reports. It adds that the guidelines aim to "combat 'helicopter' research, in which foreign scientists take samples and data" and leave with few benefits flowing back to Africans.

The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative's ethics working group developed the guidelines, which say that African researchers should contribute substantially to research projects relying on African samples and that such projects should help build research capacity in the region.

The University of Cape Town's Jantina de Vries, who is one of the authors of the guidelines, tells Nature News that she hopes they will give African researchers bargaining power when negotiating with foreign collaborators. "African research has been held over a barrel," she adds.