• The Open Humans Network aims to pool the shared biological information to help researchers seek out new discoveries. The individuals would not volunteer for a single study alone, but rather make their data accessible to any legitimate scientist across a range of research projects, despite the obvious threats to privacy.
  • The launch of the Open Humans platform comes at a time when researchers are increasingly worried about the amount of valuable genetic data that is being kept in the dark. Researchers at universities are concerned that competitors could access their data and beat them to unveil new discoveries, while commercial groups are keen to keep their information under wraps for their own profit.
  • The Open Humans project aims to reverse this tendency to steal away data. Currently there are three research projects that people can sign up for at www.openhumans.org: a stomach bacteria study conducted by American Gut, a GoViral investigation into flu season, and The Personal Genome Project, led by George Church, which is collecting complete genome sequences to analyse the links between DNA variants and health.

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