Publication date: Sep 06, 2019
UK Biobank has granted 10,000 qualified scientists access to its large database of genetic sequences and other medical data, but other organizations with databases have been far more restrictive in giving access.
KTSDESIGN/Getty Images/Science Photo Library hide caption toggle caption KTSDESIGN/Getty Images/Science Photo Library UK Biobank has granted 10,000 qualified scientists access to its large database of genetic sequences and other medical data, but other organizations with databases have been far more restrictive in giving access.
KTSDESIGN/Getty Images/Science Photo Library More than a million Americans have donated genetic information and medical data for research projects.
Only VA scientists and their collaborators are granted access to the vets’ medical records and genetic information.
Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, a VA scientist and principal investigator of the Million Veteran Program, says that so far there are 30 projects involving this huge data set.
The U. K. project has granted access to 10,000 qualified scientists, who can download its anonymized data and explore it.
UK Biobank has reported no security or privacy issues, but Gaziano still isn’t about to make the VA data in the U. S. as readily accessible.
Gaziano is trying to make the data more accessible to scientists in academia, but doing so is complicated by the fact that the data are housed on computers at the VA and the Energy Department; access is strictly controlled.
“We have families who have been here for three, four, five, six generations,” says Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, executive director of precision medicine and genomics, “and under our care at Intermountain Healthcare, we have taken care of families for multiple generations, so we have health information and health histories on those families and patients. “
“We don’t anticipate sharing this data outside of the Intermountain Healthcare databases, for example,” Nadauld says.
They would like to put the information on computer servers that scientists can access but which will not allow data to be downloaded.
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