BioMemory Project

The BIOMEMORY project is aimed to create a network of biobanks (i.e., scientific research collections) where data and metadata associated to biological samples of different nature are collected and stored in a systematic and well-organized way. Maintaining the existing collections will allow their future use for a number of purposes, from the genetic improvement of organisms to face environmental changes (climate-ready organisms) to the fight against epidemics and pandemics affecting humans, animals and plants.

The collection of samples and the conservation of cells, organs and organisms is finalized to assess the response to genetic and environmental factors that (a) cause or affect adversity and diseases related to climate change and pollution aimed at the prevention and early/improved diagnotic applications, the identification of biomarkers and new therapeutic approaches at the plant, animal and microbial level; (b) influence and improve human well-being and health, in particular through nutrition and lifestyles.

Particular attention is paid to the conservation and enhancement of microbial, plant and animal biodiversity, to guarantee food production of superior quality in terms of organoleptic, sanitary and nutritional characteristics, as well as the traceability and environmental sustainability (e.g,. absence of contamination) of the productions.

To disentagle these complex interactions it is necessary to collect, store and study a large number of human, plant, animal and microbial biological samples, and analyze the corresponding molecular and biochemical information in the largest number of specimens from specific areas/regions sharing homogeneous environmental characteristics. Biobanks collect and store biological samples for the benefit of the community.

The large amount of data characterizing the stored organisms is the basis for the reference material repository. The project will also develop a strategy for the collection and use of data through the development of technologies and innovative artificial intelligence algorithms capable of analyzing heterogeneous and high-dimensional data in an efficient and scalable way, in order to extract unknown patterns or correlations and new knowledge on the mechanisms and physiopathological variations underlying resistance and resilience to environmental conditions and pathologies, and new predictive models for the diagnosis and treatment of pathologies and physiopathies.

Biomonitoring through the use of biobanks represents a great scientific challenge with signficant implications for the health of ecosystems and the environment. The success of biomonitoring also depends on the engagement of citizens and requires an approach of collaborative science. This includes shared information on the origin of the biological materials and their associated data in terms of quality and compliance with ethical-legal-social (ELSI) requirements. In this way, the project will not only be a production of scientific data, but a response to the needs of knowledge, conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and of applications in various productive sectors, as well as health and well-being.

Biobanking biological samples allows for a scientific follow-up over time, and represents the opportunity to respond to the future needs, for example by mitigating extreme phenomena and sudden epidemics. Biobanking biological samples of different nature represents a renewed pact with the society and a response of system in case of exposure to environmental, food or biological risks; avoids the loss of biodiversity in response to rapid phenomena of climate change, anthropogenic pressure and consequent pollution phenomena; and preserves an enormous scientific capital in a sensitive context.

Data inizio: 15/10/2021. Data fine: 15/04/2024

Contact Person: Francesca Mariani

Link al sito: BioMemory Project