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UK Biobank Releases World’s Largest Set of Health Data

UK Biobank has unveiled new data that provides “the most detailed picture of human health that exists”, say scientists.

Professor Naomi Allen, scientist
Professor Naomi Allen | UK Biobank

That's good news because the data from whole genome sequencing of half a million people will equip researchers with the “ultimate toolbox” to make new discoveries, and will enable researchers to look at personalised risk of common disease, better understand genetic diseases and, hopefully, develop new and better drugs.

"These data, together with the wealth of data of lifestyle, environment, biomarkers and health outcomes, means that UK Biobank provides the most detailed picture of human health that exists", says Professor Naomi Allen, chief scientist of UK Biobank. "Within a few years we may well see new and more effective drugs for diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, rare genetic diseases (Huntington’s, motor neurone disease) and cancers”.

“It may also lead to more targeted healthcare, whereby your genetic make-up can help determine whether or not you are more or less likely to benefit from a certain treatment, or to have side-effects."

“These data will also allow for accurate identification of individuals who are at high genetic risk of disease, leading to interventions for targeted screening and early disease diagnosis or for targeted preventive measures to be introduced.”

Whole genome sequencing analyses the entire human genome - a unique genetic code of three billion building blocks.


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