Biological resources are the foundation of all biological sciences research. They provide the source material for scientific investigation, leading to many of the discoveries on which biotechnology is founded.
Ensuring the proper maintenance and exchange of biological resources is essential to the future advancement of biotechnology and its capacity to contribute to sustainable growth.
Biological resource centres (BRCs) are both service providers and repositories of the living cells, genomes of organism, and information relating to heredity and the functions of biological systems. BRCs contain collections of culturable organisms (e.g. micro-organisms, plant, animal and human cells) replicable parts of these (e.g. genomes, plasmids, viruses, cDNAs), viable but not yet culturable organisms, cells and tissues, as well as databases containing molecular, physiological and structural information relevant to these collections and related bioinformatics.
BRCs are fundamental to harnessing and preserving the world’s biodiversity and genetic resources.
A global network of biological resource centres is a critical element of the infrastructure that underpins advances in the biological sciences and their capacity to contribute to sustainable growth.
Since 1998 the OECD has been building international cooperation among BRCs. The OECD is working to establish a global BRC network that will enhance access to biological resources and foster international collaboration in this area, underpinning economic and social development. Efforts to establish a Global Biological Resources Network have been endorsed by OECD Science and Technology Ministers. The GBRCN will be an international body independent of the OECD.
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