UK Biobank Requires Earth's Geneticists To Cooperate, Not Compete
What makes UK Biobank valuable is not only the half-million volunteers, whose health will be followed for decades, but also its community-spirited scientific strategy. Chief scientist Dr. Cathie Sudlow says the organizers, in a break from their usual ways, aren't out to answer their own scientific questions, but to serve their colleagues.
How Should Scientists' Access To Health Databanks Be Managed?
Three major projects in the United States illustrate these differing philosophies.
The first project involves three-quarters of a million veterans, mostly men over age 60. Every day, 400 to 500 blood samples show up in a modern lab in the basement of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Boston. Luis Selva, the center's associate director, explains that robots extract DNA from the samples and then the genetic material is sent out for analysis.
The blood samples themselves end up in gigantic, automated freezers for future use — one in Boston and a backup facility at a VA location in Albuquerque, N.M.