News

News


News, stories, and insights from the forefront of genomic and clinical data sharing.

9 November 2020
GA4GH GDPR Brief: The Concept of Personal Data in the GDPR

The central concepts of “identifiability” and of “personal data” are broadly defined in the GDPR, which can create challenges for actors in the health sector hoping to determine what data is regulated by the GDPR and what data is not.

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28 October 2020

The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortium, a GA4GH Driver Project, conducted whole genome sequencing of 426 individuals from 13 African countries, whose ancestries represented 50 ethnolinguistic groups from across the continent. Their findings have been published in the journal Nature.

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23 October 2020

In this episode, we spoke with Max Barkley, software developer and team lead at DNAStack, on the GA4GH Connection Demos. This initiative aims to demonstrate interoperability through real-world implementations of GA4GH standards across multiple institutions.

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19 October 2020

Members of the GA4GH Work Streams have submitted the Task Execution Service (TES) API and the Search API for approval, commencing with a 30-day public comment period.

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5 October 2020

The concept of a data ‘controller’ is central to the operation of the GDPR because it allocates responsibility for compliance with data protection rules. In the genomics context, determining who is a joint data controller can be complicated.

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29 September 2020

GA4GH has announced the release of its 2020-2021 Strategic Roadmap as well as the 2020 GA4GH Connection Demos.

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29 September 2020

The Steering Committee of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) has approved three new products that support the genomic and health data collection process. Together, these three deliverables—ERR Policy, MRCG, and CCGR—facilitate genomic and health research that protects the interests of both participants and researchers.

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21 September 2020

Today on the podcast we hear from Meg Doerr, a Principal Scientist in Data Governance and Ethics at Sage Bionetworks. Meg is the Programme Committee Chair for the upcoming GA4GH 8th Plenary meeting, which will take place on September 29 and 30. It will be the first fully virtual meeting and we are delighted to have had Meg’s guidance in developing the programme.

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18 September 2020

The largest ever survey on global public attitudes towards genomic research and data sharing suggests that work is needed to raise levels of public trust in how genetic data is used in order for that data to fulfill its promise to advance human health and medicine. 

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9 September 2020

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) will hold its 8th annual Plenary Meeting as an open, free, and virtual in order to encourage participation from the most diverse, globally representative community possible.

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8 September 2020

The European Court of Justice’s Schrems II judgment on 16 July 2020 has both invalidated the EU Commission’s adequacy decision on the EU-US Privacy Shield and strengthened obligations on anyone transferring data out of the European Economic Area. This brief focuses on the latter issue.

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27 August 2020

On Episode 9 of the OmicsXchange Podcast, we speak with Laura Paglione—co-lead of the GA4GH Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group—on amplifying underrepresented voices within the Genomics and Health Data Community.

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22 August 2020

GEnome Medical alliance Japan (GEM Japan), a Driver Project of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), has released  GEM Japan Whole Genome Aggregation (GEM-J WGA) — a first-of-its-kind open-access variant frequency panel of 7,609 Japanese whole genome sequences.

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3 August 2020

Under the GDPR, personal data may only be kept if strictly necessary to fulfil the purpose of processing. The special provisions of the GDPR on data retention for research are, however, not a carte blanche to hang on to all research data.

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27 July 2020

On episode 8 of the OmicsXchange, we are speaking with Caroline Cake, CEO of Health Data Research UK, about the HDR UK response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and their role in setting up the International COVID-19 Data Research Alliance.

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6 July 2020

The GDPR may apply to processing activities happening outside of Europe, commonly referred to as the GDPR’s “extraterritorial effect”. Reflecting the latest guidance on the subject from the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), this brief should be considered an update to an earlier brief on the GDPR’s territorial scope.

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29 June 2020

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) is one of 19 founding members of the International COVID-19 Data Research Alliance and data analysis Workbench, an independent consortium of leading life science, philanthropic, and research organisations launched to support the rapid development of insights and treatments to combat the global effects of COVID-19. 

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29 June 2020

In this episode, we speak with Kathi Lauer—a virologist and Industry Officer for External Relations at the ELIXIR Hub in the UK—on ELIXIR’s efforts to respond to the pandemic.

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25 June 2020

On Wednesday, June 24, the GA4GH Data Use and Researcher Identity (DURI) Work Stream hosted the webinar “GA4GH Passports: Implementing GA4GH Passports and AAI: Technical Deep Dive.”

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22 June 2020

On Wednesday, June 17, the GA4GH Data Use and Researcher Identity (DURI) Work Stream hosted the webinar “GA4GH Passports: Benefits of Integrating a Global Electronic ID for Accessing Biomedical Data.” 

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2 June 2020

We continue our series on the role of data sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This episode, we hear from Johan Ordish, active member of the GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream, on COVID-19 data sharing from a regulatory and ethics perspective.

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1 June 2020

The EU’s Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR) and the GDPR both apply to clinical trials and (further) scientific research. This GDPR Brief details the interplay between the two regulations.

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28 May 2020

The GA4GH Data Use and Researcher Identities (DURI) Work Stream will host two webinars in June to demonstrate how data access systems can leverage the GA4GH Passports standard to bring efficiency and harmonization to the data access process.

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21 May 2020

The Finnish Act on the Secondary Use of Social and Health Data (552/2019) applies to data collected in social and healthcare organizations and governs processing for secondary purposes, including statistics, scientific research, and other activities. This brief describes the Act especially as it applies to scientific research.

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12 May 2020

The urgency of scientific data sharing is never more apparent than during a global disease outbreak. Today we hear from Mark Fiume, CEO of DNAstack and co-lead of the GA4GH Discovery Work Stream about the COVID-19 Beacon, an initiative aimed at making viral genomic datasets discoverable for investigators around the world.

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4 May 2020

The individual or entity that determines the purposes and means of processing personal data are ‘Controllers’ under the GDPR. However, in the author’s personal experience, a claim is sometimes made, in relation to Universities and Research Institutions (herein “University”), that there is only one Data Controller, and that is the [President, University Board, etc.]. This is an understandable position insofar as it applies to, for example, the maintenance of student records. Where scientific research is at issue, however, the principal investigator (PI) often “determines the purposes and means of such processing”, and thus would seem to be a Data Controller.

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30 April 2020

Efficient international collaboration and data sharing, two key components in the advancement of genomic medicine and human health, are proving essential for effectively responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

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24 April 2020

Large-scale sequencing initiatives around the globe are generating massive volumes of clinical genomic data that have the potential to inform research into human health and disease. But controlling access to these data is currently a cumbersome endeavor. For this episode, we’re speaking with Melanie Courtot and Craig Voisin of the GA4GH DURI Work Stream about the challenges presented by data access control and the solutions they’re developing within their teams.

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9 April 2020

Scientists create a new online searchable resource to accelerate precision medicine for cancer patients

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6 April 2020

The GDPR requires entities using personal data for their own ends and performing specified services for third parties using personal data to keep records of their processing activities. The records must be in written or electronic form and be made available to supervisory authorities on request. Beyond minimum requirements of the GDPR, supervisory authorities propose further technological and organizational practices to ensure the accuracy and utility of records.

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17 March 2020

SCCs can make data transfers to any country possible, including to recipients not covered by the EC adequacy decision for their country (e.g. US recipients not registered in the Privacy Shield). Nevertheless, the Court of Justice of the EU has yet to decide whether SCCs alone establish an adequate level of protection for personal data or if the recipient country’s legal system also requires analysis.

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4 March 2020

Access to large amounts of flexible computing resource can be of interest to organisations with large data sets, such as genomic databases. Developments in personalized medicine and AI enhance the relevance of cloud computing for genomic and health-related research.

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28 February 2020

February 29, 2020 marks the 13th International Rare Disease day. Established by the European Organization for rare disease, this day of observance aims to raise awareness and improve access to treatment. We’re here with human geneticist Heidi Rehm to talk about the opportunity of genomic and health related data sharing to advance rare disease research.

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17 February 2020

The GA4GH Steering Committee approves the Service Info and Service Registry APIs—standards that improve service discovery by providing a common format for describing and listing web services.

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3 February 2020

Given the importance of SCCs to international data transfers, the December 2019 opinion of Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe (AG) on the suitability of standard contractual clauses (SCCs) in Facebook Ireland and Schrems, C-311/18 (“Schrems II”)  has caused some consternation.

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28 January 2020

January 28, 2020 marks the 7th anniversary of GA4GH – the international standards organization for genomics. On Episode 2 of the OmicsXchange, we’re here to speak with Peter Goodhand, CEO of GA4GH, and Ewan Birney, Chair of the GA4GH Executive Committee, as we reflect on GA4GH’s role – past, present, and future – in advancing genomic and health-related data sharing.

 

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13 January 2020

Edward Dove (University of Edinburgh), Yann Joly (McGill University), and Jaime Guidry Auvil (National Institutes of Health) have been named new GA4GH Work Stream Leads and members of the GA4GH Steering Committee.

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6 January 2020

Article 6(1) of the GDPR states that: “Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies: […]”; 6(1)(a)(f) present the different bases. Does “at least one” legal basis suggest that a number of bases – could be used at the initial point of gathering personal data, thereby creating greater flexibility when considering the legal basis for further, secondary processing of those data?

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17 December 2019

The GA4GH Steering Committee has approved the Data Repository Service (DRS) API, a standardized set of access methods that are agnostic to cloud infrastructure. The DRS API completes the suite of approved APIs from the GA4GH Cloud Work Stream, which work together to allow researchers to discover algorithms across different cloud environments and send them to datasets they wish to analyze.

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17 December 2019

The GA4GH Steering Committee has approved the GA4GH Passports and Authentication & Authorization Infrastructure (AAI) specifications produced by the GA4GH Data Use & Researcher Identities (DURI) and Data Security Work Streams, respectively. The two standards work in conjunction to reliably authenticate a researcher’s digital identity and automate their access to a requested genomic dataset. 

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10 December 2019

December 10 is International Human Rights Day. For our first guest here on the OmicsXchange Podcast produced by GA4GH, we are talking with Dr. Bartha Maria Knoppers – professor of human genetics and the director of the Center of Genomics and Policy at McGill University – on how article 27 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is important for global genomic data sharing.

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2 December 2019

There has been an emerging consensus in the genomic research community that “broad consent” is an ethically and legally permissible form of consent. For example, the Council of Europe’s recent recommendations on protection of health-related data expressly permit broad consent for scientific research.

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2 December 2019

Genomics England has implemented the standard GA4GH API htsget to serve all of its genomic data from the 100,000 Genomes Program and the Genomic Medicine Service.

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4 November 2019

For research involving human participants, consent is a foundational principle in both law and ethics that supports participant autonomy.  In the context of data processing, and the GDPR specifically, consent is only one of several legal bases for the processing of personal data, including special-category data such as genomic and health-related data. That is, the data subject’s consent may not be the lawful basis under which data processing occurs. Nevertheless, seeking consent may remain an ethical requirement, even if it is not necessary for the purposes of data processing under the GDPR.

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1 November 2019

The European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP RD) is a GA4GH Driver Project working towards the advancement and innovation of rare disease research, funding, diagnosis, treatments, and clinical trials. The Driver Project recently shared the story of a patient named Yakup, whose family had spent years searching for answers to a set of neurological symptoms that afflicted him since birth.

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22 October 2019

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) has unanimously approved five new standards to enable responsible international genomic data sharing.

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22 October 2019

Crypt4GH, a new standard file container format from the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), allows genomic data to remain secure throughout their lifetime, from initial sequencing to sharing with professionals at external organizations.

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22 October 2019

The Data Security Infrastructure Policy (DSIP) was developed as a foundational policy of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) by the Data Security Work Stream to facilitate the responsible sharing and processing of genomic data.

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22 October 2019

The GA4GH Steering Committee recently approved Phenopackets, a standard file format for sharing phenotypic information. The Phenopackets standard aims to facilitate communication between the research and clinical genomics communities by creating an ecosystem of interoperable tools and resources that can use phenotypic data with fewer barriers. 

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22 October 2019

The Tool Registry Service (TRS) API is one of a series of technical standards from the Cloud Work Stream that together allow genomics researchers to bring algorithms to datasets in disparate cloud environments, rather than moving data around.

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22 October 2019

The GA4GH Variation Representation (VR) specification, produced by the Genomic Knowledge Standards Work Steam, provides a flexible framework of computational models, schemas, and algorithms to precisely and consistently exchange genetic variation data across communities.

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4 October 2019

On Friday, October 27, the GA4GH Data Use and Researcher Identity (DURI) Work Stream hosted the webinar “Automating access to human genomics datasets: the GA4GH Data Use Ontology in action.” More than 100 individuals tuned in to learn about the Data Use Ontology (DUO), a GA4GH standard for automating access to human genomics data. The webinar featured presentations from eight international speakers who have contributed to DUO’s development or implemented it at their local institutions. Another six implementers attended as panelists to answer audience questions following the presentations. Speaker slides and a recording of the webinar are available online.

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3 October 2019

On January 23, 2019, the European Commission (EC) issued its adequacy decision on Japan. As one of the most active countries in large-scale OMICS research, with participation in initiatives such as the International Cancer Genome consortium (ICGC), the International Epigenome Consortium (IHEC), GA4GH and the Human Cell Atlas, this is welcome news for Japanese researchers. In addition to being the first adequacy decision since the GDPR entered into force, it also marks the first mutual decision. As such, Japan has also deemed the EU adequate under its Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI).

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1 October 2019

CRAM is an international community standard file format for storing compressed DNA sequencing data. In this post, adapted from an earlier post on his personal blog Data Geekdom, James Bonfield dispels a few myths about the format and its ability to meet the community’s needs for low cost storage of large scale sequencing data. Bonfield is a member of the GA4GH Large Scale Genomics Work Stream and a software developer at the Sanger Institute. He is the primary maintainer of the CRAM standard, which was originally theorized in 2010 in a paper by Fritz et al.

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30 September 2019

For genomic data to meet their potential to improve human health and medicine, DNA donors must be willing to share their data for secondary use. But what factors impact a person’s willingness to trust an individual or organization enough to share their data with them? A study recently published by the Participant Values Task Team of the GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream answers this question by identifying key components of trust. 

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24 September 2019

The GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream (REWS) has undertaken a comprehensive review of its policy frameworks and guidance documents to ensure they meet the demands of the current era of genomic medicine and research. As part of this review, REWS has released updated versions of the GA4GH Consent Policy and the GA4GH Data Privacy and Security Policy and reaffirmed the Framework for Responsible Sharing of Genomic and Health-Related Data.

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18 September 2019

The GA4GH Data Use and Researcher Identities Work Stream will host a webinar on September 27 to demonstrate how researchers and data custodians use the GA4GH Data Use Ontology (DUO) standard to streamline access to controlled-access datasets.

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2 September 2019

Article 35 of the GDPR requires that data controllers perform a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) before processing personal data if the processing “is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons.”

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5 August 2019

Under the GDPR, organizations within a given sector or representative body can develop Codes of Conduct to help overcome key data protection challenges. Developing an approved Code is a serious endeavour and difficult to achieve, but can be of great benefit, including by better enabling responsible international data sharing in genomics and health-related research. Such Codes complement rather than supersede the GDPR.

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1 July 2019

The GDPR now explicitly mentions, and even defines, pseudonymisation, namely the processing of personal data so they can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information (provided certain measures are in place to prevent re-identification). Coding is commonly used in health research and can, in some cases, act as a pseudonymisation technique. The question arises as to whether pseudonymised data are no longer personal data and hence no longer subject to the GDPR.

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14 June 2019

GA4GH Chair Ewan Birney participated in the creation of the first reference human genome and is now involved in the roll-out of large-scale clinical genomics. His story is illustrative of a much bigger movement of genomics into healthcare over the past decade.

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3 June 2019

Article 89(2) allows derogations from data subject rights where personal data are processed for scientific/historical research or statistical purposes. Article 89(3) allows derogations where data are processed for archiving purposes in the public interest. This Brief only considers provisions relating to scientific research.

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6 May 2019

Data controllers that plan to transfer personal data to a non-EU/EEA country or international organization (including for onward transfers of personal data from the third country or an international organization to another third country or to another international organization) must be mindful of the GDPR’s strict provisions on international data transfers.

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2 May 2019

ELIXIR and GA4GH are creating technical and regulatory solutions to enable a federated international ecosystem for human genomic data.

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17 April 2019

New GA4GH Data Security Work Stream Leads David Bernick and Jean-Pierre Hubaux aim to build on the progress that the work stream has done and tackle new challenges in genomic data privacy and security.

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9 April 2019

On Friday April 5, GA4GH held the #CRAM4GH Twitter chat. Guest “panelists” and experts James Bonfield, Thomas Keane, and Ewan Birney helped answer questions on the CRAM file format for genomic data compression.

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2 April 2019

Autism Sharing Initiative (ASI) – a new 2019 Driver Project – is positioned to accelerate autism research through data sharing and collaborating on GA4GH standards.

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1 April 2019

Consent under the GDPR must generally be given for a specific purpose. But Recital 33 broadens this to allow “consent to certain areas of scientific research when in keeping with recognised ethical standards for scientific research”. The justification given is that in research, it’s often not possible to fully identify the purpose at the time of data collection.

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25 March 2019

CRAM, the data compression standard for genomics, is quickly transitioning to the field’s preferred file format for storing sequence reads.

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4 March 2019

In a letter to the editor of Nature Biotechnology published on 4 March 2019, members of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health present current and future extensions of the Beacon API — an open-source web-based protocol for making anonymised genomic data discoverable for research and clinical purposes.

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4 March 2019

Informed consent is a powerful ethico-legal requirement in most interventional biomedical research involving human participants. But consent to participate in research is a distinct notion from consent pursuant to the GDPR.

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8 February 2019

The Steering Committee of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) unanimously approved the Data Use Ontology (DUO) for inclusion in its suite of technical standards for sharing genomic and health related data.

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4 February 2019

Research participants enjoy the same rights under the GDPR, generally speaking, as do other individuals whose personal data are processed (collectively known as “data subjects”). The right of access to one’s personal data is the first among a constellation of data-subject rights guaranteed by the GDPR, along with a right to rectification and erasure, among others.

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4 February 2019

GEnome Medical alliance Japan (GEM Japan), H3Africa, Swiss Personalised Health Network (SPHN), the Autism Sharing Initiative, EpiShare, EUCANCan, and the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP RD) have been named 2019 GA4GH Driver Projects.

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24 January 2019

A new transcontinental project will pilot nearly all of GA4GH’s genomic data standards to enable a virtual cohort of more than 1.4 million individuals from Europe, Canada, and Africa.

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17 January 2019

The GA4GH Data Use Ontology (DUO) allows users to semantically tag genomic datasets with usage restrictions, allowing them to become automatically discoverable based on a health, clinical, or biomedical researcher’s authorization level or intended use.

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9 January 2019

The BRCA Exchange, a global resource that includes data on thousands of inherited variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, is now available through a website and a new smartphone app. A paper detailing the development of the BRCA Exchange was published January 8, 2019 by PLOS Genetics.

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7 January 2019

Individual opportunity increasingly depends on automated decisions by companies and (prospective) employers. Any automated decision-making, including profiling, is subject to the usual requirements of the GDPR.

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3 January 2019

In a paper released today in the American Journal of Human Genetics, members of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) highlight the diverse approaches being taken around the world to integrate genomics into healthcare and present a roadmap for sharing strategies, standards, and data internationally to accelerate implementation.

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10 December 2018

It is with great enthusiasm and gratitude that we announce several changes to the GA4GH leadership team: Heidi Rehm replaces David Haussler as Vice Chair; Moran Cabili and Tommi Nyrönen replace Ravi Pandya and Anthony Philippakis as DURI Work Stream Leads; Michael Baudis replaces Harindra Arachchi as Discovery Work Stream Lead; and Jean-Pierre Hubaux replaces Paul Flicek as Data Security Work Stream Lead.

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5 December 2018

In the eyes of the GDPR, not all data are equal. Rather, ‘special categories’ of personal data are given additional protection. In the December 2018 installment of the GDPR Forum Brief, Johan Ordish and Alison Hall of the PHG Foundation discuss those of relevance to the genomics and health community.

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3 December 2018

The GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics WorkStream (REWS) has released a Korean translation of its Framework for Responsible Sharing of Genomic and Health Related Data. Produced by by Hannah Kim and So Yoon Kim of Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, the new translation will allow institutions across the region to integrate GA4GH data sharing policy frames within their local contexts.

 

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5 November 2018

Nearly six years ago, 50 colleagues came together in a conference room in New York City to discuss the future of genomics. With delegates from eight different countries, they represented an international, interdisciplinary field of researchers, clinicians, and professionals who knew that massive amounts of data were on the horizon and that a plan was needed to make the most of it all. One thing was clear: the plan needed to be global.

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2 November 2018

In September, members of the GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream (REWS) published a special issue of the journal Human Genetics, focused on genomic data sharing. The series of review articles includes an overview of the regulatory frameworks that have come to bear in seven different countries.

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1 November 2018

Refget, a new API from the Large Scale Genomics Work Stream retrieves genomic reference sequences using “checksums” — small algorithms that tag a bit of data with an identifier that can be used to verify its integrity.

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1 November 2018

The GDPR has a global territorial reachArticle 3 states that the GDPR applies to the processing of personal data in the context of the activities of an establishment (e.g. office, site) of an organization in the European Economic Area (EEA, which constitutes the 28 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), regardless of whether the processing takes place in the EEA or not.

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26 October 2018

The GA4GH Cloud Work Stream has announced version 1 of its Workflow Execution Service (WES) API — a protocol for running the same genomic data analysis in multiple cloud environments.

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19 October 2018

ELIXIR and the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) have announced the release of the Beacon API v1 — a data discovery protocol that allows users to determine the presence or absence of a particular allele in a dataset, without disclosing any further data differentiating the individuals it contains.

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18 October 2018

We’re happy to announce that the GA4GH 6th Plenary Meeting Report is now available on our website, complete with session summaries, videos, and slides.

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12 October 2018

A paper published in the October, 2018 special issue of Human Mutation features the ways in which the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) is contributing to GA4GH standards development.

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10 October 2018

Anonymisation is the irreversible alteration of data so that its human subjects are no longer identifiable. Though this makes it incompatible with longitudinal follow-up, and is therefore generally discouraged in precision medicine, it can be an attractive option to comply with data protection law. Indeed, the GDPR does not regulate anonymised data at all, and insists on keeping data in an identifiable form for no longer than necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.

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5 October 2018

GA4GH will select up to five new Driver Projects for 2019, focusing on international genomic data initiatives that can increase the organization’s global representation, have significant scientific merit, and capacity to contribute to GA4GH development efforts.

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4 October 2018

Three new deliverables from the GA4GH Connect strategic roadmap, released today at the GA4GH 6th Plenary Meeting, address issues of variant discovery, reference sequence harmonisation, and cloud computing.

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26 September 2018

A new resource developed by the Variant Interpretation for Cancer Consortium (VICC), a GA4GH Driver Project, makes clinical interpretation of variants much more consistent by aggregating known information about mutations associated with non-hereditary cancer.

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7 September 2018

A new task team of the GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream, the GDPR and International Health Data Sharing Forum, will begin publish monthly “GDPR Briefs” that answer important questions about the GDPR’s impact on various aspects of international health research and genomic and health-related data sharing, and that further explore the various issues raised in an initial Primer, released on September 4.

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4 September 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took full legal effect across the European Union (EU) on 25 May 2018, has a number of implications for international health research involving the collection, use, and cross-border sharing of people’s personal data. Such research includes genomics research.

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31 August 2018

In a new video to accompany the recent publication about developing an international survey to gather global attitudes toward genomics, Your DNA Your Say study authors discuss the “why” and the “how” of the survey they built, and the complexities and nuances of translating it into different languages in order to reach as many global lay publics as possible.

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8 August 2018

In an article published in the European Journal of Human Genetics, members of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) propose a novel “registered access” data access model that aims to increase and improve access to genomic data for use in research.

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2 August 2018

In a comment piece for <em>The Lancet Oncology</em>, a collaborative team of international researchers from GA4GH and beyond outlines the imperative for maintaining public trust in the use of health data for research.

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9 July 2018

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) has always prioritized responsible, ethical data sharing. Responsibility and the right to benefit from genomic research are at the heart of everything we do. After recent discussions in the international, mainstream media, this message bears repeating.

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22 June 2018

In an article recently published in the European Journal of Human Genetics, members of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) propose a new model for data access termed “registered access.” This tier between open access and controlled access aims to increase and improve access to genomic data for use in research.

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11 May 2018

The All of Us Research Program aims to gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health. It will use GA4GH data sharing standards to ensure its efforts are compatible with similar initiatives around the globe.

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13 April 2018

GA4GH regulatory and ethics lead Bartha Maria Knoppers discusses the Framework for Responsible Sharing of Genomic and Health-Related Data, broad consent, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and planned REWS activities for the coming year.

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2 March 2018

Founding GA4GH Chair David Altshuler discusses the organization’s history and the need to enable responsible genomic data sharing — a need he says is even more relevant today than it was five years ago.

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16 February 2018

The Canadian Genomics Cloud, a national cloud-based infrastructure for genomics data sharing, will develop an end-to-end software solution that complies with GA4GH standards from the ground up.

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5 February 2018

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) has announced a series of more than two dozen deliverables to be launched in 2018 and developed over the next one to three years, laying the groundwork for real-world genomic data sharing by 2022.

The GA4GH 2018 Strategic Roadmap includes the first 28 standards and frameworks to be developed under GA4GH Connect, a new phase of the organization focused on aligning with the key needs of the international genomic data community.

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8 June 2018

The new Framework developed by GA4GH Member organization H3Africa aims to guide ethically responsible biomedical research in Africa and builds on the work of the GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream.

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3 April 2018

In the first in a quarterly series of guest blog posts from the GA4GH Chair, @EwanBirney describes the recent structural changes to the organization and the 2018 Strategic Roadmap.

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23 March 2018

As a pioneer in genetics research, a leader in the Human Genome Project, and the founding director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute (a GA4GH Host Institution), Sir John was one of the most vocal champions of the open science mandate upon which our organization was founded—we are deeply indebted to him and to his contributions to the field.

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23 February 2018

Vivienne Parry, Head of Engagement at Genomics England, discusses the 100,000 Genomes Project Participant Panel and the critical impact its voice has on the activities of the organization.

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15 October 2017

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) has struck formal collaborations with 15 international genomic data initiatives as 2017 Driver Projects, including Genomics England, Australian Genomics and the U.S. All of Us Research Program. The announcement, made at the GA4GH 5th Plenary Meeting, comes as part of the launch of GA4GH Connect: A 5-year Strategic Plan.

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22 September 2017

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) welcomed its 500th Organizational Member this week, solidifying its role as the international standards setting body for genomic and health-related data.

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14 July 2017

Francis Collins and Harold Varmus will be at the GA4GH 5th Plenary Meeting in Orlando, Florida to help launch the organization’s 5-year strategic plan on October 17, 2017. Drs. Varmus and Collins, who are both members of the GA4GH Strategic Advisory Board and hold a legacy of commitment to the organization’s mission, will also discuss the importance of international open science following the launch event.

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3 March 2017

Patient A:II-1 was born in the Netherlands three weeks early with short, flattened bones in her upper body. She seemed otherwise healthy until her horseshoe-shaped kidneys began to fail.

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18 February 2017

In February 2017, GA4GH hosted a symposium in the Medical Sciences and Public Health track of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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24 January 2017

The GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics Working Group (REWG) has published a new policy online developed by its Ethics Review Equivalency Task Team.

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9 January 2017

If every individual has millions of unique variants in their DNA, how can clinicians be expected to tease out a handful of disease causing mutations from a haystack of inconsequential variants? To aid their cause, public human genomic variant databases have sprung up to catalog variants that cause (or do not cause) disease.

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8 November 2017

In an article originally published on Medium the authors describe their vision for building an open, compatible, and secure approach to data within the life sciences research community.

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13 October 2017

Justin Vachon was born in 1997 with a neurological disorder so rare it had never been seen in a Canadian clinic before. His family had to wait until 2016 for the genetic underpinnings for his disorder to be identified.

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14 June 2017

GA4GH leaders and key participants recently came together at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, UK to discuss a strategic plan for the organization over the next five years.

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17 May 2017

In a perspective paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), members of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) Clinical Cancer Genome Task Team call on the international community to put more resources – people, data, infrastructure and policy change – toward cancer genomic data sharing.

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7 April 2017

In a paper recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Information Association, a team of GA4GH security experts put forth three new strategies for mitigating the risks of cyber attacks on Beacon datasets.

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24 March 2017

If you have used a GA4GH product or data sharing exchange in your research or clinical practice, we would love to hear about its impact.

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23 March 2017

The BRCA Exchange aims to advance our understanding of the genetic basis of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other diseases by pooling data on BRCA1/2 genetic variants and corresponding clinical data from around the world

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10 March 2017

In a Correspondence to Nature Magazine released this week, GA4GH Executive Director Peter Goodhand and other members of the Global Life Sciences Data Resources (GLSDR) Working Group call for a global coalition of data resources that would ensure important life sciences data remain freely available to the scientific community well into the future.

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3 March 2017

Patient A:II-1 was born in the Netherlands three weeks early with short, flattened bones in her upper body. She seemed otherwise healthy until her horseshoe-shaped kidneys began to fail.

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15 February 2017

Almost sixty percent of the human population resides in Asia and Africa, but only a fraction of the world’s human genomic sequencing efforts cover that community. That’s more than 4 billion individuals whose genomes are not well represented by current sequencing efforts, placing them squarely outside the promise of precision medicine.

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13 January 2017

In his 2016 State of the Union Address, former U.S. president Barack Obama announced a “Cancer Moonshot” project to dramatically accelerate cancer research and improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment efforts.

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4 January 2017

The Beacon Project of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) and ELIXIR, the European infrastructure for life-science data, announced today an expansion of their partnership  to improve the discoverability of European genomic data.

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21 December 2016

Back in May 2016, the GA4GH Participant Values task team launched a global research study to probe public attitudes toward sharing DNA and medical data. The project, Your DNA, Your Say, is unique in its delivery.

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6 December 2016

Last week, Big Data 2 Knowledge (BD2K) held its annual all hands 2-day meeting, followed by a 1-day public symposium on open data science.  BD2K is an initiative of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) aimed at turning “biomedical research into a digital enterprise.”

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28 November 2016

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) today announced a new Application Programming Interface (API) developed by the Global Alliance’s Data Working Group that will allow DNA data providers and consumers to better share information and work together on a global scale.

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14 October 2016

The Global Alliance for Genomics in Health (GA4GH) has appointed Ewan Birney PhD, Director of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and nonexecutive Director of Genomics England, to lead the consortium’s efforts to accelerate medical and research advancements through the responsible sharing of genomic and clinical data. Birney will assume the new role on 1 November.

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13 October 2016

We at the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health are serious about our mission of transforming medicine and improving human health through data sharing. Since our founding in 2013, GA4GH has expanded the global conversation about genomics and health in many ways. We convene stakeholders with expertise in genomics, security, regulations and ethics, informatics, computing, and clinical genetics.

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10 June 2016

In today’s Science, the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) calls for a federated data ecosystem for sharing genomic and clinical data. The diverse authorship, which includes international leaders in academia, research, medicine, and industry, argues that a common framework of principles, protocols, and interoperable technical systems are necessary to enable responsible and effective data sharing.

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23 May 2016

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) and the Wellcome Genome Campus have launched a new project to explore global public attitudes and beliefs around the sharing of genetic information.

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5 May 2016

A recent paper from the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) highlights the potential of “big data” to unlock the secrets inside cancer cells and enable the development of more effective personalised treatments.

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3 April 2016

The BRCA Challenge, a Demonstration Project of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health(GA4GH), will release the newest version of the BRCA Exchange web portal on April 3, 2016 in advance of the annual meeting of the International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG) in Kyoto, Japan.

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3 April 2016

The BRCA Challenge, a Demonstration Project of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health(GA4GH), will release the newest version of the BRCA Exchange web portal on April 3, 2016 in advance of the annual meeting of the International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG) in Kyoto, Japan.

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28 March 2016

On April 3, 2016, GA4GH hosted a global engagement workshop to coincide with the Annual Meeting of the International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG). Additionally, a joint session with the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC) was held during the main body of the conference on April 6.

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24 March 2016

Genomic research holds great potential to advance human health and medicine. However, for the millions of data points now being collected through large-scale sequencing efforts to be truly valuable, they must be analyzed in aggregate and shared across institutions and jurisdictions.

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10 June 2015

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), an international coalition dedicated to improving human health by maximizing the potential of genomic medicine, marked its second anniversary this month.

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1 January 2015

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health convened its second major meeting of 2014 today, bringing together more than 250 international leaders to collaborate on the development of innovative solutions to accelerate sharing of genomic and clinical data. At their plenary meeting, held in San Diego, California, Alliance members shared progress to date and discussed next steps for the effort.

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1 January 2015

The work of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) was recognized at the 3rd Annual Tribute to Champions of Hope Gala of Global Genes™, an event honoring those who are leading the fight against rare disease.

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15 December 2015

Genome Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) today announced a $3.3 million investment in Can­SHARE – a pan­Canadian program that will enable innovation in the use of genomic data for health care for patients in Canada and worldwide.

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29 October 2015

The Beacon Project is one of three data sharing demonstration projects of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). It is an effort to enable international sites to share genetic data to improve human health in the simplest of technical contexts. It is based on a yes/no query that tells searchers whether a specific genetic variant is contained in a participating database.

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1 January 2015

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), an alliance of over 150 of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions, healthcare providers, information technology and life science companies, funders of research, and disease and patient advocacy organizations, announced progress since the group’s formation and plans for future work at a partner meeting held today at the Wellcome Trust in London.

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