UK Biobank, a GBP61 million medical project, aims to provide the material that will allow researchers to study in depth, in decades to come, how the complex interplay of genes, lifestyle and environment affect our risk of disease.
Thousands of south Manchester residents aged between 40 and 69 are being sent invitations to take part in the start-up phase of UK Biobank which requires volunteers to give blood and DNA samples. Volunteers will have to agree to be tracked for the rest of their lives, providing routine medical and other health-related information that will be stored on computers at Manchester University.
The vast amount of data the project is aiming to collect will be held by a robotic system that is eventually expected to handle samples taken from around 1,000 people every day.
UK Biobank’s principal investigator, Professor Rory Collins, said, It’s been known for a long time that the risk of getting a particular disease often involves a combination of environment, lifestyle, genes and chance but all studies to date have had limitations, which mean we still don’t have a clear picture of how these different elements interact.