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What are biobanks? Part 4

Biobanks are organized collections of human biological material.
There are other biobanks and in all the cases, in the biobanks, what is there is the production of data. To each extent this data that is being produced in biobanks or in general in biomedical research may be kept in the place where it has been produced or has to be open? What is important to realize here is the large amount of information produced. So, for example if we consider now our knowledge of the genome, the price of the genome has decreased much more than what is called the Moore’s law for the development of informatics and the development of other areas.
In this case the decreasing price is huge and what costed millions of euros now may be done with just a few hundred. So, nowadays we can say that we can do a whole genome sequence of high quality by less than one thousand euros. The idea is that when prices decrease the amount of production increase and we can see that this increase in the amount of genomic data is really growing at a pace that was impossible to think before, because it’s really getting so huge that sometimes the main problem is not the production of this data but the storage of this data and this is one of the keys tools of a biomedical research biobank and data bases.
What we have to have very clear is that the information produced doesn’t matter which should be open and should be shared for the humankind. So, researchers should have everything open, everything available and the idea of openness in the production and in the sharing of biomedical information is one of the pillars for all that.
Then, the question comes: if in a given study I am one of the voluntaries and they are going to look at my genome, what is going to happen to this information? Well, this information will go into a genome data base. So, let’s go and see how genome data bases work. There are lots of genome data bases. Here we are going to focus on the general ideas,

Biobanks are organized collections of human biological material. They are used to produce and store a lot of associated information for research purposes. How should they be dealt with?

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Why Biology Matters: The Genome and You

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