The Commitment of the Human Cell Atlas to Humanity
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Description: The Human Cell Atlas (HCA) is a global partnership of scientists who are seeking to understand how the cells in our bodies work together to form our organs and carry out specific physiological functions essential to life. HCA scientists are creating a view of healthy cells and their behaviours in individuals, representing a diverse set of people to help better understand human biology, as well as the contributions of our environments and genetics to the ways in which our cells work to keep us well. Recognizing that many medical breakthroughs have not been beneficial to all because healthcare research has often been conducted without considering the impacts of variations in our genetic make-up, environmental exposures or life-experiences. Some previous scientific studies have been extractive and exploitative, failing to sufficiently consider the priorities of, or benefits to, contributing communities. In this narrative, HCA provides a set of principles and action items that have been adopted to affirm its commitment to promote equity so that the results of this global scientific endeavour are beneficial to all of humanity.