Largest ever bioimaging study underway in UK

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The largest ever health imaging study will soon offer researchers a look inside the bodies of Brits. The UK Biobank, a nonprofit biological data repository in Stockport, announced today it plans to scan the organs of 100,000 people over the next 6 to 8 years. The snapshots, taken with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other standard techniques, will be linked to diverse data on health and lifestyle, allowing researchers to improve understanding and diagnoses of diseases such as cancer, dementia, arthritis and osteoporosis, and coronary heart disease.

Biobank was set up in 2006 by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust. The goal was to create a resource for health researchers by gathering health-relevant data—such as diet, physical activity, lifestyle, and cognitive function—as well as samples of blood and DNA from a half million people in the United Kingdom. To allow analysis of health outcomes, these data are linked to the individuals’ health records from hospitals, death registers, and, now, general physicians.

So far, Biobank has DNA from 150,000 people and anticipates it will have DNA from the other 350,000 by the end of the year. They have physical activity from 100,000, taken from a watchlike monitor for up to 7 days. Blood samples have been analyzed for hormones, glucose, lipid markers, and other aspects.

Read full, original post: U.K. begins wold’s largest biomedical imaging study

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