SPECIAL SECTION: ETHICAL LIMITS IN HUMAN SUBJECTS RESEARCH
The Ethics of Biobanks
a1 Sven Ove Hansson, Ph.D., is Professor of
Philosophy at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in
Due to modern biochemistry and, in particular, recent developments in
genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics, human samples (organs,
tissues, cells, genes, etc.) have become the most important raw
materials for advancement in the health sciences. Such material has
been at the center of fundamental biomedical research for a long time.
What is new is its increased usefulness in research with direct
clinical relevance, such as the development of drugs. Because of the
larger commercial involvement in such research, this has also led to
greater economic interests in human biological material and in the
information that can be extracted from it.