Abstract: The importance of data sharing and biobanking are increasingly being recognised in global health research. Such practices are perceived to have the potential to promote science by maximising the utility of data and samples. However, they also raise ethical challenges which can be exacerbated by existing disparities in power, infrastructure and capacity. The Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR) convened in Stellenbosch, South Africa in November 2018, to explore the ethics of data sharing and biobanking in health research. Ninety-five participants from 35 countries drew on case studies and their experiences with sharing in their discussion of issues relating to respecting research participants and communities, promoting equitable sharing, and international and national approaches to governing data sharing and biobanking. In this editorial we will briefly review insights relating to each of these three themes.
“Integrative analysis of multi-omics data is a powerful approach for gaining functional insights into biological and medical processes. Conducting these multifaceted analyses on human samples is often complicated by the fact that the raw sequencing output is rarely available under open access. The Personal Genome Project UK (PGP-UK) is one of few resources that recruits its participants under open consent and makes the resulting multi-omics data freely and openly available. As part of this resource, we describe the PGP-UK multi-omics reference panel consisting of ten genomic, methylomic and transcriptomic data. Specifically, we outline the data processing, quality control and validation procedures which were implemented to ensure data integrity and exclude sample mix-ups. In addition, we provide a REST API to facilitate the download of the entire PGP-UK dataset. The data are also available from two cloud-based environments, providing platforms for free integrated analysis. In conclusion, the genotype-validated PGP-UK multi-omics human reference panel described here provides a valuable new open access resource for integrated analyses in support of personal and medical genomics….”