Indian objection to export of human tissue for research

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7382.224 (Published 25 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:224

Clarifications from authors of study

  1. Peter Forster (dap38@cam.ac.uk), study author
  1. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3ER
  2. New Delhi, India
  3. Medical College, University of Calcutta, Calcutta (Kolkata), India 700027

    EDITOR—With reference to our recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the mutation rate of mtDNA, Murdur says that Indian scientists are accusing the foreign researchers of violating the national guidelines. 1 2 He omitted, however, to make any mention of the first author of our paper, Lucy Forster, who is herself Indian, from Kerala, where the thorium rich sand is located. The research formed the basis for her PhD dissertation.

    None of the coauthors was aware of the guidelines to which your correspondent refers, neither have we now been able to find any mention of them on the website of the Indian Council of Medical Research. It is in any case not likely that the research in question as such would lead to a patent or other commercial applications. It does, however, lead to the interesting conclusion, relevant to human population history, that some high estimates for the mtDNA mutation rate are not …

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