A centre to undertake the largest study into the genetic and environmental causes of disease has opened its doors in Manchester.
The project will generate a huge amount of data
The Biobank will take DNA samples from people aged 40 to 69 and track their health over a number of years.
Scientists hope about a quarter of the UK's population will take part in the scheme and the centre is equipped to enrol more than 100 visitors a day.
Data will be used to research into heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
The centre is based at the Manchester Technopark and will be expanding to other areas across the UK.
Spokesman Andrew Trehearne said only 10 people were expected through the doors on the first day of opening but staff would be looking to see about 110 a day once the project was fully up and running.
He added: "Over the coming months and years, a quarter of all the British population will receive a letter asking them to get involved.
"This research will be of great significance for future generations. It relies on people's altruistic nature."
The Biobank centre is based at Turing House on Princess Road in Hulme and will track lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, as well as medical conditions of those who agree to take part.
The project will ask people to give their consent for information from hospital, doctor and dental records to be passed on to Biobank.
Mr Trehearne confirmed the project had "considered at great length" the issue of patient confidentiality and Biobank had met all the requirements of the data protection act.
The Biobank project has the support of the Medical Research Council, Scottish Executive, Department of Health, Wellcome Trust and North West Development Agency.