A biobank is a biorepository that holds biospecimens that are valuable for research. They may also be referred to as bioresources or tissue banks. Biobanks have been vital resources to conduct medical studies, such as those that are in the field of personalized medical care and genomics. Biobanks enable researchers to access information that includes many people.
Biospecimens and the information they collect can be utilized by multiple researchers to conduct cross-purpose research studies. This is crucial because many researchers are struggling in collecting enough tissues prior to the existence of biobanks. Different types of biobanks hold and store samples from specific populations or those suffering from certain ailments. Biobanks are located in institutions such as hospitals, universities and pharmaceutical companies, charitable organizations, and much more.
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Before the advent of biobanks, scientists had collected all the biospecimens needed to conduct their research. But, they began to recognize that, while genetics could be the cause of numerous diseases, very many diseases can be attributed to one defective gene. That means that the majority of diseases are caused by several genetic causes. This has led to taking more information about genetics whenever they could.
In the same way, technological advancements have also allowed the sharing of data. This resulted in the conclusion that access to the data collected for any genetics research might aid other research in genetics. Scientists began to collect genetic information in one place for sharing with the community.
In the process, a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified. Although the new method allowed for the sharing and collection of genotype information but the system was not to collect the information on phenotypes. Genotype data is obtainable from biospecimens whereas phenotype data can be obtained through interviewing or examination by the person who donated.