Researchers in Australia are building a database that will contain genetic information about older people that have stayed healthy. The idea is to learn more about the genomes of people that do not have disease, since previous research has focused on people that are sick. The scientists have called it “the Medical Genome Reference Bank (MGRB),” according to work reported in the European Journal of Human Genetics.
The database will include whole genome sequencing data for around 4,000 individuals over the age of 70, who have not had any reported incidence of dementia, cancer or cardiovascular disease. This reference data collected from healthy people might be especially valuable compared to data sampled from younger people; a person that has not had cancer at age 45 may still get it years later, for example.