Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Biobanks will provide "electronic specimens" for medical Research

Abstract:
Future medical research will focus increasingly on electronic data, with less need both for laboratory animals and tissue samples. This long term trend emerged at a recent conference on biobanking organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF), which dealt with the challenges posed by the growing scale and complexity of research in the life sciences.

Biobanks will provide "electronic specimens" for medical Research

Spain | Posted on February 12th, 2009

But in the more immediate future biological specimens will be required in ever greater quantities, with higher quality, for a wide variety of given experiments. Anticipation of this need provided the motivation for the many biobanks that have been created in Europe and the rest of the world over the last decade. For example a pharmaceutical company may need blood samples from individuals with specific genetic profiles in order to screen a candidate drug for damaging side effects. Equally, research into the effects of ageing may require access to samples taken from the same people at different times in order to measure changes in specific biomarkers that indicate different aspects of the process.

Biobanks therefore have to serve a wide variety of requirements, and yet conform to common standards so that researchers can obtain the samples they need readily, as was pointed out by Alberto Orfao, one of the ESF conference chairs, from the University of Salamanca in Spain.

"Different types of biobank will probably coexist, including both generic and smaller ones, depending on the specific purpose, the type of samples or collections hosted, and many other factors," said Orfao. "What seems to be clear is the need for different existing biobanks to work under harmonized frames and guidelines at the international level, so that sharing and collaboration are facilitated and fostered."

In the longer term samples will be converted into data, in effect providing researchers with the results they needed, such as the impact of ageing on biomarkers. This would reduce the need for expensive laboratory processes and expertise, although Orfao emphasised this was for the future. "A challenge for the future will be to provide access to enough data and information about large series of individuals so that further research could be linked to data stored in electronic resources," said Orfao. "However, this is still far from current practice, and it is still crucial that specimens be stored to facilitate the generation of additional data."

Creating electronic biobanks will itself involve a great effort and take time. Meanwhile the biobank community faces a daunting enough challenge just providing sufficiently diverse and large specimen sample collections to feed current research as well as provide the raw material for creation of the electronic biobanks of the future. "Current research projects studying human diversity and evolution, as well as the genetic/genomic factors underlying complex, multi-factorial human diseases, require the availability and use of thousands of biological samples, together with associated epidemiological, genealogical, lifestyle and/or clinical data," said Orfao. "Biobanks have been created with the aim of providing scientists with large collections of high quality biological samples."

The ESF conference highlighted the substantial progress already made creating biobanks that now serve a variety of research projects all over Europe. "Some of the most significant achievements of biobanks include the promotion and driving forward of research on drug development, treatment of complex, multi-factorial diseases and personalized medicine, shortening the time-frame required to develop such large scale projects, and providing a higher standard of quality," said Orfao. "As such, this has also been the impact of the Spanish National DNA Bank, which is currently supporting several major disease-oriented research projects."

The ESF conference also identified the innovative technologies that will be exploiting samples from biobanks in the near future, and which should influence the course of biobank development. "This explains the decision for the topic of the coming 2009 ESF Conference ‘Cutting edge genetic/genomic technologies impacting biobanking activities'," said Orfao.

But making biobanks fit for purpose will also involve more mundane activities relating to standards and harmonization. "One of the challenges of biobanking that has been discussed in the Conference was the need to stimulate coordinated activity in the field across Europe," said Orfao. "However the European Research Infrastructure for Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources (BBMRI) Project, represents a real and tangible example of how to stimulate the collaboration and harmonization on biobanking between different European countries. Furthermore, the advantages of the joint planning of BBMRI and the OECD GBRCN have been highlighted, as well as the specific challenges for international networking and the need for evidence-based biobanking and biospecimen research standards."

The ESF conference 2008, Biobanks Introduction and Next Steps, was held in Sant Feliu de Guixols, Costa Brava, Spain, in November 2008, with the support of the University of Barcelona.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Alberto Orfao
University of Salamanca
ES

34 923 294 833

Copyright © European Science Foundation

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Graphene holds up under high pressure: Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive April 24th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

Russian scientists create new system of concrete building structures: Sientists of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University developed a new construction technology April 24th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. Unveils New Product at ICMCTF Show April 25th: Nanoindentation experts will launch the new Gemini that measures the interaction of two objects that are sliding across each other – not merely making contact April 21st, 2017

Nanomedicine

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

Arrowhead Presents ARC-520 and ARC-521 Clinical Data at The International Liver Congress(TM) April 20th, 2017

Nano-SPEARs gently measure electrical signals in small animals: Rice University's tiny needles simplify data gathering to probe diseases, test drugs April 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Announcements

Graphene holds up under high pressure: Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive April 24th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

Russian scientists create new system of concrete building structures: Sientists of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University developed a new construction technology April 24th, 2017

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years: First definitive experimental evidence of two-dimensional melting of hard spheres April 21st, 2017

Events/Classes

National Conference on Nanomaterials, (NCN-2017) April 21st, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. Unveils New Product at ICMCTF Show April 25th: Nanoindentation experts will launch the new Gemini that measures the interaction of two objects that are sliding across each other – not merely making contact April 21st, 2017

Forge Nano 2017: 1st Quarter Media Update April 20th, 2017

Arrowhead Presents ARC-520 and ARC-521 Clinical Data at The International Liver Congress(TM) April 20th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project