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With an op-ed published Wednesday by the leading science journal, scientists have identified several alarming issues with genetic studies of Europe’s long-persecuted Romani people. Nature Part of a wider problem with “immoral use” of DNA databases—pointing to ethical lapses in the collection and over-representation of samples in databases accessed by law enforcement agencies.

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The authors write that DNA samples have been collected from thousands of Roma since the 1990s and possibly from the 1970s, many of which were taken without consent before being shared for research purposes and added to public databases .

In some cases genetic material was taken from prisoners, while in other instances people were offered incentives to give them DNA, a practice “considered unacceptable by most human geneticists.”

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