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Today, G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics publishes a research article “The Genomic and Transcriptomic Landscape of a HeLa Cell Line” by Landry et al., which provides a genomic resource for the most widely-used cell line in research. The early online version of the article was published March 11, 2013. The August G3 issue features the final article, along with the release of its sequence data to scientists.

After the early online publication of Landry et al., despite the author's strict adherence to existing ethical guidelines, a debate arose over the way genomic data are handled and accessed. In response to concerns expressed by the Lacks family about genomic privacy, the authors quickly and voluntarily withdrew the sequence data out of respect for the Lacks’ family’s wishes until an understanding could be reached about how the HeLa sequence data would be accessed.

This month in G3, read about the resulting discussions around genomic privacy, ethics, and consent. An editorial by G3 Editor-in-Chief Brenda J. Andrews and GSA Journals Executive Editor Tracey DePellegrin introduces the issues, and discusses the process that led to an understanding between NIH Director Francis Collins and the family of Henrietta Lacks, resulting in an agreement to provide the HeLa sequence data from Landry et al. in dbGaP. Please also see GSA's press release.

G3 also publishes three thoughtful Perspectives, written by Bartha M. Knoppers, Timothy Caulfield and Amy L. McGuire, and Michael J. Szego, Janet A. Buchanan, and Stephen W. Scherer, bioethicists and scientists well-versed in the ethical, legal, and societal implications of genome sequencing and privacy, and related issues we’re facing in modern genomics.

Send us your thoughts, and become part of the ongoing conversation. Email


GSA Press Release

Access to HeLa cell genome data restored following agreement:
Genome of HeLa cell line first published by G3:Genes|Genomes|Genetics now released to scientists
Full Release



HeLa Sequencing and Genomic Privacy: The Next Chapter pp. vii

Brenda J. Andrews and Tracey DePellegrin


Research Article



From Tissues to Genomes pp. 1203-1204


Policy Uncertainty, Sequencing, and Cell Lines pp. 1205-2017


Building Trust in 21st Century Genomics pp. 1209-1211


For full table of contents, please visit G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics.