NHS patients are being invited to take part in a multimillion pound medical project which aims to investigate life-threatening and debilitating diseases.
UK Biobank, which is supported by the Department of Health (DH), is one of the most detailed public health research initiatives ever undertaken in the UK.
It will carry out research into a wide range of conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and Parkinson's disease.
The scheme is looking to recruit 500,000 people aged between 40 and 69, and aims to track their health over the course of the next 30 years.
The project is led by Professor Rory Collins, British Heart Foundation Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Oxford University.
He said: "We are talking to lots of British scientists about the ways this resource can help their research and, internationally, advising others who want to set up similar projects in their own countries.
"Health research has taken enormous strides in the past decade and we know a lot about how our bodies work, but we need to find out more. In setting up UK Biobank for researchers in the future we are establishing the blood-based resource to do just that, and making a significant contribution to improving the health of future generations."