Biobank Research Leads to New Procedure

Sample management

Stem cell research has often been stigmatized due to the fact that the best cells to use for that type of research happen to be embryonic cells. In order to run tests on them, scientists have to destroy the embryo. This led to many ethical issues with the general public, sparking new research to find a different way.

Enter induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Samples can be taken from anyone willing by simply drawing blood. New research conducted via biobank software has uncovered a new procedure that can regress adult cells. From there, they can take the form of any cell, like heart or brain cells.

This procedure is revolutionary, since it allows scientists to administer tests they can’t usually isolate within humans. In other words, it can lead to vaccines and cures. Scientists also say that it may be the beginning of truly personalized medicine. The great thing about the procedure is that it isn’t just for new patients. This can be applied to old blood already in their sample management system.

None of this would have been possible without the dedicated work of scientists and researchers at biobanks. What is biobanking exactly? Biobanks are facilities in which thousands of DNA samples are cataloged and later used for research. They can be catagorized by age, gender, ethnicity, etc. and biobanking allows researchers to see large quantities of samples. Theses larger quantities make it easier to spot patterns where a certain disease forms or a vaccine may work.

Funding for these facilities comes from a few different places, but most notably the government. The government finances about 36% of all biobanks, and has funded research in part for 57% of responding biobanks. Other funding comes from fees charged for services (11%) and funding from individuals or foundations (10%).

In 2014 there were 14.5 million people living with a history of cancer and in addition, 2015 will see another 1,658,370 diagnosed with new cancer cases. Only 29% of biobanks do general research, while over half are doing research on a particular disease. Biobank software and freezer software allow scientists to look at large quantities of samples at once, making it easier to spot patterns in diseases such as cancer. Biobanking will be crucial for scientific research in the the coming years, so keep an eye out and let us know what you think in the comments!

About: Eric

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