Hyderabad: A group 64 scholars from 31 countries including senior researchers from Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) have developed a set of guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research.
The guidelines, which were recently published in science journal Nature, has inputs from Chief Scientist, CCMB and Director, CDFD, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Dr K Thangaraj.
“Some of the ethical issues pertaining to analysis of human remains are globally applicable whereas some differ greatly across the world. It is, therefore, critical to articulate guidelines that are rigorous yet flexible enough to be appropriate for diverse local contexts. Our discussion with a truly international and diverse set of scholars was key to identify principles that could be generalised,” Dr Thangaraj said.
The new set of five guidelines aims to circumvent differences in global contexts of ancient DNA research. The five guidelines include abiding by all regulations in places where they work and from which the human remains originate, prepare a detailed plan prior to beginning the study, minimise damage to human remains, ensure data is made available following publication to allow critical re-examination of scientific findings and engage with non-scientist stakeholders and ensure respect and sensitivity to stakeholder perspectives.
“These globally applicable guidelines provide an excellent ethical framework for ancient DNA research in India. We are very glad to have had a strong representation of Indian scientists contributing to the formulation of guidelines that are both applicable around the world and appropriate to our Indian context,” Dr Vinay Kumar Nandicoori, Director, CCMB, said.
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