Protection for genome near

October 18, 1996

Protection of the human genome went a step further this month when the draft of a universal declaration on the human genome and human rights was adopted by the International Bioethics Committee at Unesco in Paris.

The text declares the genome to be "a fundamental component of the common heritage of humanity", sets out guidelines on interventions affecting the genome, details the rights and responsibilities of researchers and calls for international cooperation. It should be adopted before the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1998.

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