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500,000 Genetic Sequences Issued for Medical Studies

30th November 2023

The UK Biobank, a prominent British health study, has now released the complete genetic sequences of nearly 500,000 individuals for scientific examination, making the data set twice the size of the previous one.  

Established in 2006, the UK Biobank has amassed biological samples, comprehensive body scans, and health-related information from participants. 

Additionally, using data from the NHS, it has tracked the cases of dementia, cancer, and a range of other illnesses in those individuals. 

These genetic data banks are available upon request to research facilities worldwide. Currently, over 30,000 scientists from over 90 nations have been granted access. 

The wealth of data from the Biobank has contributed to the publication of over 9,000 research studies. The research has delved into the genetic factors influencing a broad spectrum of conditions, including Alzheimer’s risk, heart conditions, and personality characteristics. 

In exchange for their respective contributions of a £25 million investment, Amgen, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson have been given an early nine-month access period to the data.  

A geneticist at University College London, David Curtis, commented, “It’s just head and shoulders above everything else. … I think there’ll be researchers around the world who will get stuck in with this and make fantastic discoveries.” 

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