Monday, March 19, 2018

The Struggle to Build a Massive ‘Biobank’ of Patient Data

There is much controversy on whether or not the project All Of Us Research Program is worth spending well over a billion dollars because it is expensive, it will take numerous years to complete and might be just too ambitious to take on. The objective of the project All Of Us Research Program is to take one million people in the United States, all from different backgrounds, cultures, racial and ethnic groups, and to have their genome sequenced and all health recorded from foods they eat to blood samples. This project is significant because it’s samples that are coming strictly within the United States population only to get coherent results. With the results collected, researchers are hoping to get all new insights on health information, diseases and genetics. So far with the project being three years in, it has not gotten very far (only about 1.7% of the completed project) because it is time consuming with collecting surveys and measurements from volunteers. They have not even started sequencing genomes yet due to low resources available. However, the project continues as it pushes through obstacles.

This is certainly not the first biobank to be performed but I think it sticks out from the rest and is an interesting project to follow through until completed. Even though this is a massive project that comes with a cost, I think it’s a project worth doing because researchers can conclude numerous health information from one project and can really reflect on the American population. Personally, I am curious how people are affected by environment, lifestyles and genetics and not just studied in small projects/group but more on a grand scale to understanding the reasoning on health information.

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