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New research opportunities from UK Biobank

Mar 30 2012 Read 15706 Times

A new Biobank of information has made lab news recently, opening the door to researchers in an attempt to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The UK Biobank started testing patients three years ago, and since then has collected around 20TB (terabytes) of securely stored data, the equivalent of 30,000 CDs-worth, on 500,000 people. The information has been collected on people aged between 40 to 69, who answered several lifestyle questions before taking part in medical tests.

England's chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, said: “The UK Biobank is a globally unique resource which places the UK at the forefront of the quest to understand why some people develop life-threatening diseases or debilitating conditions.

"It has huge potential for future generations and will help us understand how our children and our children's children can live longer, healthier lives."

The participants' information will now be open to researchers, and includes data on around 26,000 people with diabetes, 50,000 with joint disorders, 41,000 teetotallers and 11,000 heart attack patients are taking part.

Posted by Ben Evans 

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