A new centre for European biobanks opened its doors in Graz in southern Austria. It aims to give medical researchers access to almost 20 million samples of human blood, plasma and urine.
The Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) aims to improve coordination between biobanks, providing samples and medical data that are vital for disease research and the development of diagnostic tools, said Kurt Zatloukal, a pathologist at the University of Graz.
Used in conjunction with medical data from the donor, biological samples can lead to improved treatment of certain diseases, making it important that researchers have access to as wide a range as possible.
The project was set up by Austria and eight other European countries including France and Germany with support from the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures.