The repository is made up of millions of tissue samples dating back to 1917, all of which were collected from service members.

Officials at the Joint Pathology Center, the Pentagon’s main laboratory, research facility and learning institute for pathology, said Tuesday they are working with the Institute of Medicine to determine how to open their tissue repository — the largest in the world — to some scientists.

Considered a national treasurer by researchers, the catalogue of samples holds clues that could lead to medical advancements, said JPC Interim Director Col. Thomas Baker.

“Twenty to 25 years ago, there probably wasn’t a lot of use for this tissue,” Baker said. “But now with molecular studies we can do now, the genoming sequencing … it will allow us to test these samples that will ultimately affect treatment and patient care.”

via Military Times