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Biomaterial banks for research -- clear strategies and recommendations needed
Date:4/18/2011

nors, the host institutions and research there is a general need to optimise these biomaterial banks for scientific use as well.

4. Project-specific collections that are relatively small, for example those of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, are of specific importance for university-based research. If they were to be subject to a biobank law, that would surely overstretch their organisational capacity. However, if these collections are excluded from the regulatory scope of such a law, this runs counter to sustainability considerations in relation to biobanks. To ensure that the samples and data remain accessible for further use after completion of the project, they should ideally be included in a larger biomaterial bank that is structurally and technically well equipped. In this case the samples and data would again fall under the regulatory scope of a biobank law, and this at a time when most of the requirements of such a law could no longer be satisfied. From this immediately follows the necessity to draw up a strategy that is tailored to the needs of project-specific collections, before committing to a fixed legal framework.

5. The biobank secrecy being discussed in Germany takes a very specific aspect of the operation of biobanks into account. Since in general no comparable protection regulations exist in other countries, such a move could have negative consequences with regard to the increasing number of international collaborations and joint research programmes, as well as competitive disadvantages in comparison to research carried out abroad. Furthermore, the extensive regulations on data protection and medical privacy in the context of biobanks already guarantee a very high level of protection for research in international comparison.

6. Proposal by the Senate Commissions

  • At present no general and comprehensive statutory regulation, in the form of a research biobank act, should be introduced. Instead, obse
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Contact: Dr. Eva-Maria Streier
em.streier@dfg.de
49-228-885-2250
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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