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Model organisms can only take you so far. As cancer researchers know all too well, the heavy lifting has to be done with human cells — and that's one of the most serious challenges facing the field today. It has always been difficult for scientists to get their hands on enough samples for even small-scale research projects. And when there are samples to be had, it's anybody's guess whether they are of high enough quality to meet scientists' research standards. According to researchers in the field, access and quality are the two critical areas where current biobanks fall down.

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