Global Alliance

Your DNA – your say! What do people think about sharing their genomic data?

It is really important to find out what genomic data donors all over the world think about sharing their data. Do they actually want it to be shared, and if yes, with whom? TORONTO, CANADA (May 24, 2016) — The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) and the Wellcome Genome Campus have launched a new project to explore global public attitudes and beliefs around the sharing of genetic information. This has become increasingly urgent as we enter a new era of genomic medicine in which unique ethical and moral questions arise, at both the personal and political levels. It also raises questions about the commercial use of people’s genetic information. Every day, DNA and medical data are collected at clinics and research labs around the globe. To be truly informative, all of the data points — and there are millions per person — must be integrated into larger repositories in order to facilitate comparison across millions of individuals. Doing so requires individuals to give permission for their DNA and medical data to be donated for the purposes of research. Such sharing will often mean data leave the institutions where they were collected, and travel across the Internet to researchers […]


Harmonising ethics review for international research

TORONTO, CANADA (March 25, 2016) — Genomic research holds great potential to advance human health and medicine. However, for the millions of data points now being collected through large-scale sequencing efforts to be truly valuable, they must be analyzed in aggregate and shared across institutions and jurisdictions. But aggregating and sharing data brings many challenges, including the navigation of complex ethics approval processes at multiple sites and in multiple jurisdictions. To do this, researchers must often obtain ethics approval from research ethics committees (RECs) relating to the sites, who are responsible for protecting human research subjects from harm and ensuring their interests and welfare. In a Policy Forum article published this week in the journal Science, members of the Ethics Review Equivalency (ERE) Task Team of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) Regulatory and Ethics Working Group (REWG) discuss this challenge and ways to address it, particularly through ad hoc models for achieving ethics review “mutual recognition” around the globe. “As more data are shared and research becomes increasingly networked and collaborative, national research governance structures are beginning to address the need for harmonization of procedures and standards between RECs. For instance, only one REC is needed to […]

Highlights of 2015: Interviews

2015 was a great year for DNAdigest! We organised more events, welcomed more volunteers to the team and increased our output of online communications and blog generation! It has been a joy to watch our followers and online community grow with us and as we approach Christmas and the end of the year, we want to dedicate this blog post to looking back over 2015 and celebrate the achievements we made together!   Interviews: March – DNAdigest Interviews Genomic Medicine Alliance (Part 1 and 2) We included this in our 2015 overview because our Genomic Medicine Alliance (GMA) interview was the only one that spread over 2 parts and formed the most in-depth interview of the year. In part 1, we caught up with Professor George P. Patrinos, a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the GMA and he explains what GMA is, how to join and the benefits of doing so. In part 2, George discusses his role and explains the 7 different working groups within the GMA; Genomic Informatics, Pharmacogenomics, Cancer Genomics, Rare Diseases and Drug Outcomes, Public Health Genomics, Genethics and Economic Evaluation in Genomic Medicine. Read more . . . April – DNAdigest interviews GA4GH We included this interview into the 2015 […]

Highlights of 2015 – Events

2015 was a great year for DNAdigest! We organised more events, welcomed more volunteers to the team and increased our output of online communications and blog generation! It has been a joy to watch our followers and online community grow with us and as we approach Christmas and the end of the year, we want to dedicate this blog post to looking back over 2015 and celebrate the achievements we made together!   Events: February 28th – DNAdigest Hackday Only 2 months into 2015 and we hosted our first hackday. We invited our followers and the local scientific community to a day of brainstorming, ideation and hacking for the benefit of genetics research. Held in the our new office at the Future Business Centre in Cambridge, we welcomed and encouraged geneticists, bioinformaticians, software developers and anyone with a interest in public genomic datasets to join forces. Together we addressed how to make a ‘recommendation service’ that will recommend datasets that a person may find interesting based on their dataset access history and how to make an automated alert system that notifies a user when a new dataset is added or made available. Read more . . . August 21st – DNAdigest Symposium In August we […]


DNAdigest Symposium 2014 Summary

This past weekend, DNAdigest organized a Symposium on the topic “Open Science in human genomics research – challenges and inspirations”. The event brought together very interested in the topic and enthusiastic people along with the DNAdigest team. We are very pleased to say that this day turned out to be a success, where both participants and organizers enjoyed the amazing talks of our speaker and the discussion sessions. The day started with a short introduction on the topic by Fiona Nielsen. Then our first speaker, Manuel Corpas was a source of inspiration to all participants, talking us through the process he experienced in order to fully sequence the whole genomes of his family and himself and to share this data widely with the whole world.  Here is a link to the presentation he introduced on the day. The Symposium was organized in the format of Open Space conference, where everybody got to suggest different topics related to Open Science or choose to join one which sounds most interesting. Again, we used HackPad to take notes and interesting thoughts throughout the discussions. You can take a look at it here. We had three more speakers invited to our Symposium: Tim Hubbard (slides) talked about how Genomics […]


Open Science in human genomics research

UPDATE: only few tickets left – do not forget to register This November 22nd, DNAdigest is organizing a collaborative symposium. The topic of the event will be “Open Science in human genomics research – challenges and inspirations”. It will take place at the Future Business Centre, Cambridge. You can take a look at this map for directions. At this upcoming collaborative symposium, we will introduce topics like open science, access to sequencing data, privacy concerns around human genomic data, etc., and the schedule of the day will be prepared as a combination of short presentations from invited speakers followed by interactive discussion groups. Join us at the Symposium by signing up here.   You can look forward to inspirational talks to spur excitement and discussions: Manuel Corpas, will talk about how he as a citizen scientist has crowdfunded and crowdsourced the analysis of his personal genome. Linda Briceno, will share her thoughts on legal and ethical implications of data sharing in genomics. Nick Sireau, will talk about how scientists and patients can engage in collaborations, and how Open Science may be either beneficial or challenging in this context. Tim Hubbard, will present how Genomics England is engaging the research community in the 100k […]