Greater coordination between Europe's biobanks is "urgently needed," says a group of leading European scientists in a policy briefing linkurl:published; yesterday (May 27) by the European Science Foundation (ESF). Europe has many large linkurl:biobanks; -- repositories of biological samples and other information for scientific investigation -- but legal, ethical and social differences between countries lead to fragmentation and under-utilization of the available resources, according to the briefing's authors, which include linkurl:Gert-jan van Ommen; of Leiden University Medical Center and Frank Skorpen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. "Practical regulatory formats have become unnecessarily diverse due to the multitude of independent national legislative processes in the member states," the report said. "This seriously hampers progress in a major field where Europe is otherwise poised to take a leading role." The linkurl:policy briefing; also called for "a consolidated long-term funding framework" to maintain European biobanks, and urged the implementation of...

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