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HomeEstoniaEstonian Biobank launches donor data web portal for over 200,000 gene donors

Estonian Biobank launches donor data web portal for over 200,000 gene donors

Estonian Biobank of the University of Tartu launched the portal Minu Geenivaramu, which enables donors to access personalized information about their genetic predisposition to diseases, drug compatibility, and ancestry, and additionally, the portal features questionnaires to collect data from users for scientific research.

The portal for gene donors provides personalized information about predisposition to type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, the rate of caffeine metabolism, genetic ancestry, and compatibility with certain medications. Users can also read about how genes affect their health and how lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of the mentioned diseases.

“We are extremely grateful to all gene donors who have helped keep Estonian science prominently on the international stage!” head of Estonian Biobank Lili Milani said. “Thanks to the dedicated work of the scientists at the University of Tartu’s Institute of Genomics, we are finally ready to make information available to donors that can help them manage health risks early and learn more about their ancestry.”

Nearly one-fifth of Estonia’s adult population, over 210,000 people, have joined the genetic biobank. During initial tests in the spring, about 10,000 gene donors accessed the portal. Now, all other donors can view their data as well. The portal launch is accompanied by scientific studies to understand how genetic information influences people’s future behavior.

“Our goal is to bring Estonian Biobank closer to people,” said Mait Metspalu, director of the Institute of Genomics at the University of Tartu. “We inform people about the information that has been discovered about their genes in research, and make participation in studies more convenient.”

One of the goals of creating the portal for gene donors is to influence people’s health behavior in ways that help mitigate the risks arising from their genetic predisposition to diseases. The risk assessment models used in the portal are tailored for Estonian gene donors and thus differ from models used elsewhere in the world.

Health Minister Riina Sikkut said that genetic data has great potential in science, innovation, and healthcare, but it is crucial to ensure the protection of people’s fundamental rights and the reliability, quality, and security of genetic data.

“The continuous development of personalized medicine offers us completely new opportunities for disease prevention and extending healthy and productive lives through personalized motivation. Therefore, it is important that such solutions, risk models, and pharmacogenetic services reach people and are used in healthcare,” she said.

Gene donors can log into the online portal at portaal.geenidoonor.ee using an ID card, Mobile-ID, or Smart-ID. The portal is currently only available in Estonian.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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