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Monday 24th October 2016

UK Biobank close to target

26th April 2010

One of the largest health projects in history is close to reaching target of half a million recruits.

UK Biobank aims to the study genes, lifestyles and health of volunteers over a period 30 years.

Participants will provide information on their current situation and have numerous diagnostic measurements taken from blood pressure through to testing urine and saliva samples.

Through regular monitoring of the volunteers, the analysis will be used to improve the health of future generations by trying to establish why some people begin to develop diseases such as cancer or arthritis.

The chief scientist at UK Biobank, Dr Tim Sporsen said: "We are going to really try and understand why it is that when some of us get to 40 and beyond we develop diseases like cancer, like heart disease, like joint disease, like dementia and really understand new risk factors so that we can prevent those diseases in the first place."

However, critics believe the project will end up with healthy people being treated for illnesses they don't have or information being exploited by drugs companies.

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