When you go in for clinical testing, lab technicians can take blood, urine, stool, or tissue samples to run diagnostics. Giving these samples is a good idea because it can help doctors determine what is wrong with you. When you give these samples, you may also be given the option to donate tissue samples to be stored in a biorepository. These samples will not be used to diagnose or treat whatever condition you suffer from, so why should you donate?

What Is a Biorepository?

In short, a biorepository is a storage unit with the purpose of keeping lab samples viable indefinitely. Medical researchers store and categorize samples so that when they are needed for medical research, they can be produced and studied as needed. The more samples there are in a biorepository's library, the more studies can be supported. However, if patients do not allow their samples to be stored, then the research into the cause and prevention of disease can be hindered. 

Research into Proteomics

Medical researches are currently trying to understand how DNA effects protein formation in the body. This branch of research bears the name of proteomics. The tissue samples you donate can help doctors to understand the roles that proteins play in the body, and this understanding can help doctors to develop methods to prevent and treat diseases. Having a variety of samples from different people and different regions of the body helps researches to understand how protein production varies with certain diseases and conditions and how proteins affect the body's overall health. This understanding can then lead to new ways to prevent, diagnose, and cure the body's infirmities. 

Molecular Medicine

Doctors are also trying to understand how medicines work on a molecular level. The samples, you donate to a biorepository can be used in this research. When doctors want to look at a particular disease, it helps to have samples of diseased tissue, and this is where it is handy to have a biorepository full of tissue samples.  

You may wonder why you should donate tissue samples to a biorepository if those samples will not help diagnose or treat your condition. While you might not be helping yourself, you will be helping future patients. The research your samples are used for can provide invaluable insight that will lead to future medical breakthroughs. Giving consent to allow tissue samples to be used in research is a small sacrifice to make to help find cures to today's incurable diseases.