Generation Scotland

Donor DNA Databank

The Donor DNA Databank (GS:3D) is a collection of DNA samples from the general Scottish population which is available to researchers who are investigating human diseases with a genetic component. GS:3D holds samples of around 5000 volunteers.

We collected human control DNA samples and plasma from blood donors attending sessions at the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, in more than 140 locations throughout Scotland.

Recruitment took place during 2008 and the collection contains almost 5,000 samples with accompanying data.


Study Methodology

Please see the following reference for a description of the methods used:


The purpose of GS:3D is to provide a long term, well characterised resource of human DNA control samples. 'Case' samples are unique to each disease study, but the same control samples can be used across many studies if appropriately collected and characterised. GS:3D provides access to a collection of well-maintained stocks of control DNA obtained with consent from the Scottish population. Donors answered a short questionnaire and allowed a sample of their blood and a filter, which would otherwise be discarded, to be used by the project. Questionnaire data was entered into the databank using Optical Mark Read (OMR) technology. The collected data, DNA and plasma samples were unlinked and fully anonymised 28 days after collection.


Study Documentation


Data Overview


  • Age group, Sex
  • Cultural Background
  • Participant and Parental Scottish Region or Country of Origin
  • Grandparental Origin (Scotland/Other)
  • SNBTS donor inclusion criteria


Overview of the project, including the ethnic and geographical distribution of the cohort:


GS:3D data can be accessed through the Edinburgh Datashare website.


You might also be interested in:

Our Access Process
Our Access Policy
Research Publications