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Book and Media Reviews
June 24, 2009

Ethical Issues in Governing Biobanks: Global Perspectives

JAMA. 2009;301(24):2596-2597. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.924

Many nations are now establishing large population-based biobanks and associated human genetic research databases that combine genetic information derived from biological samples with personal data about environment, medical history, lifestyle, or genealogy. Notable examples in addition to the pioneering Icelandic Health Sector Database Project are the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), CARTaGENE (Canada), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (National Institutes of Health, United States), KORA-GEN (Germany), the Western Australian Genome Health Project (Australia), and the Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research (United Kingdom). There have been few texts dedicated to the regulatory issues posed by biobanks. The most obvious comparitor is Biobanks Governance in Comparative Perspective (2008, Routledge), edited by Herbert Gottweis and Alan Petersen, which focuses more on issues associated with establishing biobanks in particular countries in Europe, the United States, and Australia.

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