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The BRIDGES project was funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to address the needs of cardiovascular research scientists investigating the genetic causes of hypertension as part of the Wellcome Trust funded (#4.34M) cardiovascular functional genomics (CFG) project. Security was at the heart of the BRIDGES project and an advanced data and compute grid infrastructure incorporating latest grid authorisation technologies was developed and delivered to the scientists. We outline these grid infrastructures and describe the perceived security requirements at the project start including data classifications and how these evolved throughout the lifetime of the project. The uptake and adoption of the project results are also presented along with the challenges that must be overcome to support the secure exchange of life science data sets. We also present how we will use the BRIDGES experiences in future projects at the National e-Science Centre.