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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Researchers gain access to Framingham Heart Study data
Three generations of Framingham Heart Study participants have shared their medical information with researchers learning about cardiovascular disease. Now the landmark study's files will be opened to scientists around the world so they can explore the links between genes and disease.
Framingham is the first study in an open-access project launched by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The data come from more than 9,300 Framingham participants who had their DNA tested for 550,000 genetic variations. Researchers will have free access to that genetic information as well as clinical and laboratory test results. Names of the study subjects have been removed.
The Framingham study, sponsored by Boston University School of Medicine, Boston University School of Public Health and the NHLBI, will continue to add information from ongoing research. NHLBI will also add data from other large studies to the new program called SHARe, short for SNP Health Association Resource. SNP stands for single nucleotide polymorphism, which is a kind of genetic variation. Researchers can find out about access to SHARe data at the NIH database of Genotypes and Phenotypes.