Project seeks access to surplus blood stock

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People in Angus are being asked to boost world-leading work by allowing researchers to have access to spare blood samples.

The GoSHARE project, run by the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside Blood Sciences, has launched a drive to encourage people in Angus to sign up to the scheme.

There are around 7,000 samples of blood discarded after use every day in Tayside and the project hopes to allow those samples to be used in research into diseases including cancer, diabetes and asthma.

GoSHARE hopes to offer a simple route for people to help the fight against those diseases.

Colin Palmer, Professor of Pharmacogenomics at the University of Dundee and lead of the GoSHARE project, said: “What we are asking people in Angus is that they give us permission to use this leftover blood for research.

“Over the past 15 years around 10 per cent of the Tayside population (40,000 people) have signed up to genetic studies and this has resulted directly in major discoveries of genetic variants for eczema, asthma, diabetes and heart disease amongst others.

“All people need to do is register online or give us written permission. It literally takes a minute and they do not need to do anything else - there is no need for a special sample of blood to be taken and they do not need to make a visit to their doctor.

“All the samples which we are given access to will be made anonymous using a barcode system.”

The use of spare blood is made possible only by the close collaboration between the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside, as well as new technologies which allow the quick and effective tracking of blood samples.

People can sign up at www.goshare.org.uk or complete FREEPOST brochures that are widely distributed throughout Angus at various clinics, GP surgeries and pharmacies.