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Monday, September 12, 2005

Crocodile Dun-DNA

From the (Surry Hills, New South Wales) Australian IT:

Genetic data under fire

Karen Dearne

SEPTEMBER 13, 2005

RESEARCHERS in Western Australia have created a vast population database containing 17.5 million records of highly sensitive personal information about 3.6 million of the state's residents.

Next, they're planning to build a BioBank - a human genetics database containing the DNA of every consenting adult in the state. That will propel WA into the global bioinformatics research marketplace.

At the WA Institute for Medical Research's new laboratory for genetic epidemiology, director Professor Lyle Palmer is working on a database that will integrate all the state's human research information with the unique population data sets collected over the past 30 years.

[snip]

The WA Genetic Epidemiology Resource (WAGER) database builds on the work of the state's Data Linkage Unit, which maintains a system connecting records about an individual held in a variety of public registries and other databases.

The unit provides a data linkage and geographical coding service to its partners - the University of WA and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research - and to approved government, academic and hospital-based researchers and planners on a fee-for-service basis.

Recently, it added Medicare and PBS claims information from the Health Insurance Commission, and aged care data from the federal Department of Health and Ageing.

Meanwhile, a Family Connections genealogy project has linked nuclear families in the databases back to 1970. It is now planned to extend the pedigree linkages back to 1900.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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