Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tracing biobanks: EU researchers propose identifying DNA collections similar to books

23.05.2008
In a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Associations (JAMA) this week, European scientists propose applying a structured numeric identifier to studies involving human biological samples collected for DNA. This would allow optimised use of biological resources through increased traceability and open new perspectives for genetics studies.

Tracing biological collections, or biobanks, is crucial for genetic studies of all diseases, since using larger and larger collections is becoming the gold standard of new genetics study designs. Networking between research teams is essential but also raises numerous ethical issues for the scientists who collect and analyse the samples, as well as for the individuals who take part in clinical trials.

In their publication, scientists from several EU projects, including GA²LEN, propose a new identification system that could be applied to all studies, based on the model of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) which has been used for books for more than forty years. Each study would receive a modular number with a universal structure, to be registered at the time of ethical approval. Such a number could be applied retroactively to existing studies and collections.

The number would have a variable length and would include elements needed to identify the study: a number for the country, a number for the name of the institution acting as custodian to the collection and a number for the collection itself. This system is transparent but also flexible: elements of a study could be identified as well, for example the various surveys in a longitudinal study. Each collection will receive its unique “identity card” that can be referenced in any study using the collection.

... more about:
»Biobank »Genetic »propose

The immediate advantages of a universal number would be to accelerate and stimulate exchanges between scientists, and potentially increase the size of data collections which were analysed for a given research question. The reference number would optimise the literature search and reviews. Moreover, it would allow scientists to link studies with their samples, the methods used, the results, and various scientific publications.

Genome Wide Associations (GWA) studies or meta-analyses often include data of large biobanks studies. A universal number would facilitate this process and enable the next step: to find, trace and include data of smaller studies with better characterised phenotypes and environments in the large studies. This could also include studies from other medical disciplines or collections initially gathered to study other diseases. Critical mass would be reached for statistical analysis without losing details of the disease characterisation.

Finally, this simple system could benefit all actors involved in the human biobank. Scientists could be identified in relation to a study and given credit for their methods and results in future studies using their collections Institutes who funded the study and/or who are custodian of the collection could be identified from the numeric identifier. Individuals and patients involved in the study with their informed consent would be given transparent access to the way the collection they contributed to has been used, while anonymity is preserved.

The proposal was discussed within the several EU-funded projects that supported the work, including GA²LEN, the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, Genetic Work Package, and three projects focusing on biobanks and/or genetic databases: PHOEBE, Promoting Harmonization of Epidemiological Biobanks, GEN2PHEN, Genotype-to-Phenotype Databases and newly launched BBMRI, a Pan-European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research infrastructure.

Noélie Auvergne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ga2len.net
http://www.gen2phen.org

Further reports about: Biobank Genetic propose

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>