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UK Biobank information a ‘game changer’, say scientists

Data from the UK Biobank project, which has been made available to scientists worldwide, will open the door to a new era in global health research, an analysis predicts.

A paper published in Nature celebrates the release of the whole-genome genetic data of 500,000 participants in the UK Biobank initiative, along with their phenotypic data. This data is already being used by hundreds of researchers across the globe and some have already reported findings on a range of illnesses including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis and schizophrenia, according to a report in the journal Nature.

The data has been made available through work by geneticists at the University of Oxford and staff based at UK Biobank’s Coordinating Centre in Cheadle. The UK Biobank project was launched in 2006 and supported through its initial phase with £62 million from the UK Department of Health, the Medical Research Council, the Scottish Executive and the Wellcome Trust.

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