UK Biobank readies massive collection of DNA

In a massive undertaking, the UK Biobank is enlisting 500,000 Britons for a long-range study to determine the genetic and environmental causes of disease. DNA samples will be taken from people aged 40 to 69 over a three to four year period as researchers gather a database of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and more. That data will be accessible to a wide range of accredited researchers engaged in finding what triggers disease and how to cure it. Health Minister Andy Burnham says the study demonstrates the UK's leadership in genetics. "Our academic and industrial research prowess, coupled with ethically robust research governance procedures, means we are already among the leading players in genetics research and development."

- read the BBC's report on the project