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Fix the pipeline for biological samples


Helping biobanks connect with life-science companies would make both more effective, says Robert Hewitt

Every biological specimen used for medical research has a different journey. Many, though, pass through an intermediary positioned between the hospital biobank that collected and preserved the sample, and the client in industry seeking to work on it. For a fee, these brokers source samples for their clients.

To make best use of a sample, end users need to know information about the donor and their medical history; the geographic origin of the sample, which can also provide information about environment and ethnicity; the sample’s processing history; and its previous custodians, which might include one or more brokers.

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