UK lab told to return DNA from African tribes after being accused of trying to commercialise them

Mail Online | 10/14/2019 | Sam Blanchard;Ian Randall For Mailonline
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A British genetics lab has been accused of trying to make money from DNA samples taken from African tribes.

Whistleblowers who formerly worked at the Cambridge-based Wellcome Sanger Institute have claimed the institute wanted to use the samples to make money.

Staff - Research - Tool - DNA

They said staff there planned to build a medical research tool, based on the DNA, which it could then have sold commercially.

As a result the Stellenbosch University in Western Cape has called for the Sanger Institute to return the DNA samples to the African universities it got them from.

Critics - People - Samples - Members - Communities

Critics argued the people who donated the samples – members of indigenous communities such as the Nama people – did not consent to it being used this way.

The DNA samples were collected by various African universities and the Lebanese American University in Beirut, the samples were shared under so-called 'material transfer arrangements.'

DNA - Donors - Members - Communities - Nama

DNA donors included members of indigenous communities — such as the Nama people of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Participants were reportedly told samples would only be used to study 'population history and human evolution' or 'not [...] be for any medically related study.'.

Times - Stellenbosch - University - Wellcome - Sanger

According to The Times, Stellenbosch University wrote to the Wellcome Sanger Institute director, Sir Mike Stratton, in March.

The South Africa based university reportedly wrote that it had provided DNA samples from the Nama...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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