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Brits Back 500,000-Sample Biobank to Study Genes and Disease

NEW YORK, April 29 - British health agencies today announced plans to create a 500,000-person DNA sample bank for the study of the genetic and environmental causes of disease.


The Wellcome Trust, the British Medical Research Council and the Department of Health have initially committed 45 million pounds, or roughly $65.7 million, to establish and build the so-called biobank.


Under the plan, a handful of regional centers will recruit volunteers between the ages of 45 and 69 who are willing to provide medical history records and a DNA sample.


The bank will allow researchers to study the interactions between genes, environment and lifestyle in such diseases as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's. The MRC will be accepting expressions of interest from potential hosts for the project during the next few months.

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