Conducting research on body parts and tissues is nothing new – having always been a part of anatomical examination which is known to have been practiced since at least ancient Egyptian times (Lassek, 1958). However, over the course of the modern era in general and the twentieth century in particular, the process of extracting, storing and using materials from the body for research purposes has become ever more systematic and scaled (Hoeyer, 2005), reflecting and advancing the way the character of medicine has shifted and more recently the growth of scientific and economic interest in the biomedical technosciences (Bister, 2011, 169). Nowadays, a vast and ever increasing amount of financial resources are now devoted to it by governments and industry across the globe (Vaught et al., 2011). Small and large research biobanks have proliferated (Henderson et al., 2013); population biobanks and cohort studies have been developed; and many smaller collections have been consolidated under broader research infrastructure, coinciding with considerable investment in sequencing technology and the funding of research consortia and disease networks with specific research objectives (Chalmers et al., 2016).