The cost of genome sequencing has fallen one-million fold in the past several years. The technology is widely accessible and it is now inexpensive to quickly produce genome sequence information for large numbers of individuals. A ‘genomics revolution’ is underway, which is transforming the life sciences, including biomedicine and animal and plant breeding.
The UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on post-2015 development goals has recently called for “a New Data Revolution” for sustainable development. However, genomic data does not squarely fit within the narrow statistical focus described by the Panel. Critical gaps concerning the governance of genomics data need to be filled for the promotion of science as a global public good. Main focus of the brief is on plant breeding, but similar cases can be made for animal breeding and (human) biomedicine.
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