Audio | On the need to think harder about the living relatives of indigenous people and not simply treat their human remains as “artifacts”.

Listen to the full interviews from 19:00 on BBC RADIO 4, 3 May 2018 >>

The speed of discovery is mesmerizing […]

Who owns ancient DNA? A recent article in the journal Science argues that we need to think harder about the living relatives of indigenous people and not simply treat their human remains as “artifacts”.

Date accessed: 7 June 2018

23:15 Transcriptions of excerpts from an interviews with two of the authors (Science 27 Apr 2018 ), one of them referring to her own background as an indigenous person:

“We have to understand that that there are some communities for whom these genetics results have some very serious implications, both culturally or medically. And privacy concerns are paramount for those communities. And this is something you have to be respectful of if you are going to be doing ‘engaged research’. And we see it in many cases that simply have data stored on a private server and for researchers who have a wish to work with it they simply agree not to publish the raw results, the raw data. Most of my work with communities often looks at just historical or evolutionary questions but we leave medical research out of the picture.” […]

“I think that one of the hardest things is that scientists should respect the decisions that a community comes up with and if in the end a community believes that scientific analysis of their ancestors is not appropriate one of the hardest things that scientists would have to face is to do the honorable thing and respect the decisions of a community. [It] engenders trust and potentially build stronger relationships. It also could lead to different types of scientific analysis […]

Who owns ancient DNA? (

Advancing the ethics of paleogenomics
Jessica Bardill, Alyssa C. Bader, Nanibaa’ A. Garrison, Deborah A. Bolnick, Jennifer A. Raff, Alexa Walker, Ripan S. Malhi, the Summer internship for INdigenous peoples in Genomics (SING) Consortium
All affiliations and members of the SING Consortium are listed in the supplementary materials.
Science 27 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6387, pp. 384-385
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq1131

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