Academia Sinica yesterday announced that the Taiwan Biobank, established in 2012, has collected biological information from more than 120,000 volunteers.
The biobank aims to collect genetic samples from more than 200,000 people by 2024 to aid researchers in finding the causes of chronic diseases, as well as their treatment and prevention, Academia Sinica President James Liao (廖俊智) said at the opening ceremony of a symposium on biopreservation and biobanking.
The two-day symposium, cohosted by Academia Sinica’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia, and the Taiwan Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking, focuses on the sustainability of human biobanks, precision medicine and other issues.
Participants are also to hold a round-table discussion of biomedical industry development, ethics, governance and regulations.
The Taiwan Biobank has collected biological data from people aged 30 to 70, including their height, weight, body fat, hipline, waistline, blood pressure, pulse, bone density and pulmonary function, as well as blood sample (30ml) and urine sample (15ml), for genotyping, Academia Sinica said.
Participants were also asked about their lifestyle, diet, living environment, fertility history, and personal and family medical history.
The total length of the human genome is made up of more than 3 billion DNA base pairs, and about 650,000 genetic loci in Taiwanese people can be identified through genotyping, Academia Sinica said, adding that by cross-referencing 650,000 genetic loci with other risk factors, it identified 41 highly precise prognostic biomarkers of diabetes in 2015.
The Taiwan Biobank is the largest infrastructure for Taiwan’s biomedical development, and is the only ethnic biobank in the nation with long-term traceability, Liao said.
The number of voluntary participants has exceeded 120,000, and genotyping and gene chip analysis on more than 100,000 people have been accomplished, which are provided for research and industrial analysis application, Academia Sinica said.
Also present at yesterday’s ceremony were Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), Taiwan Biobank Project director Lee Te-chang (李德章), National Health Research Institutes distinguished researcher Tsai Shih-feng (蔡世峯), Taiwan Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking chairman Ho Hong-nerng (何弘能) and nearly 100 academics.
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