This blog is intended to provide information to educate readers about molecular testing and genetic sample collection and DNA Genotek products. Some of the information on this blog represents emerging scientific research or data developed for research purposes only. More information here.
Welcome to The Genetic Link, a blog providing new insights into DNA and RNA sample collection by DNA Genotek. DNA Genotek is a subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, Inc.
We are very excited to tell you about a new initiative we announced today as part of the DNA Genotek Helping Hands Program. Spit for Africa is a new sponsorship program in conjunction with the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG). Spit for Africa is designed to improve access and reduce the cost of DNA collection for locally and internationally funded genomic projects such as the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3 Africa) Initiative and to facilitate growth in membership of the AfSHG.
Early this year we offered a special $10,000 Award Program for sample processing and analysis through our GenoFIND Genomic Services offering. The amount of interest and the calibre of the responses we received exceeded our expectations so we decided to offer another AWARD program and to extend it to include not only genomic services but your choice of sample collection kits, sample preparation kits and/or GenoFIND Genomic Services.
Through their participation in the IMPACT research study (Individualized Medicine: Pharmacogenetic Assessment & Clinical Treatment), practitioners in Canada are now able to offer certain patients a saliva-based genetic test to predict which psychiatric medications work best for them. The tests enable physicians to use a patient’s genetic makeup to help predict which medications are safe to prescribe, and which ones may be ineffective or cause side effects. The tests are aimed at minimizing trial-and-error prescribing/dosing and are expected to reduce associated health care costs. The pharmacogenetic tests, currently offered to Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) clients and registered patients at the Thornhill Medical Centre, use DNA from saliva collected with Oragene for the purposes of the research. Plans are being made to incorporate several other Ontario healthcare facilities into the IMPACT study. This study is making the promise of personalized medicine a reality.
Cancer affects everyone in some way. In Alberta, Canada, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 4 will die from it. In 2001, the Tomorrow Project, the largest research study ever undertaken in Alberta was established to discover more about what causes cancer, so that it may be prevented in the future. Information provided by people who join the Tomorrow Project may also be used to learn more about other long-term health conditions.
Rafal Iwasiow is Vice President of Research and Development at DNA Genotek. This article was written with contributions from Carlos Merino, Rob Shipman, Anne Bouevitch, Ashlee Brown, Christina Dilane, Evgueni Doukhanine, Mike Tayeb, Bitapi Ray, Cassandra Kelly-Cirino, Jacques Niles, and Adele Jackson.
We are very excited to tell you about a new award from DNA Genotek. Today, we introduced the GenoFIND Genomic Services Award, which is designed to facilitate analysis of nucleic acid samples. The award will accelerate genetic discoveries by providing $10,000 US in GenoFIND services to the selected winner. GenoFIND is a compilation of commercially available genomic services that include: nucleic acid extraction, SNP genotyping, PCR-based assays, whole genome and targeted sequencing, array-based SNP and expression profiling, custom assay development and bioinformatic analysis.
Approximately 30 years ago, the Tissue Typing Laboratory at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel was created to serve a newly launched cadaver-kidney organ sharing program. The mandate of the Sheba Medical Center has evolved over the years from organ donation to include HLA typing for bone marrow transplants. The medical center performs approximately 140 pediatric and adult bone marrow transplants per year. Dr. Ephraim Gazit and his team are responsible for HLA typing in the laboratory for a variety of purposes including: HLA disease studies, to identify potential bone marrow donors in families and in the general population, to build a bone marrow registry and for organ transplantation.
At the recent American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) meeting in San Francisco, I attended numerous presentations describing successful use of saliva for next generation sequencing, both exome/targeted and whole genome. For example in Dr. Kitzman’s presentation entitled “Non-invasive whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of a human fetus”, they used saliva to sequence the father’s genome. The data presented at ASHG was in line with all the validation work we have done and continue to do at DNA Genotek. We have previously reported results of Oragene/saliva samples on exome sequencing comparing paired blood and saliva samples. These reports clearly demonstrate that saliva is an excellent source of genomic DNA for exome sequencing. Similarly, we used Raindance technologies to target the MHC region which was then sequenced and allowed us to accurately make HLA calls using saliva as the sample type. Complete Genomics has also demonstrated that saliva is a good source of DNA for WGS and that the bacterial content is not an issue when interpreting the data. These studies build on data we previously generated using microarrays to demonstrate the utility of saliva as a reliable source of DNA.
Each year I look forward to the task of reflecting on the year gone by and coming up with a top 10 list that represents highlights of the year for DNA Genotek, our customers and the health community. It was 2009 when I sat down to write the first version of this list and each year, it is one of our most popular blog articles. It is often difficult to choose the items that make this list – mostly because there are so many exciting developments to talk about. The items that made the list this year are some of the most interesting I’ve written about as I believe many of them will change the way we look at genomics in the future. I won’t be surprised if some of them also appear on top 10 lists in the coming years as several of them have some serious staying power. I hope you enjoy DNA Genotek’s top 10 list for 2012.
Everyone at DNA Genotek would like to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season with a special video where we share our holiday wishes with you. Do you have a special wish for this year? Leave a comment and share it with us.
© 2013 DNA Genotek Inc., a subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, Inc., all rights reserved. Some DNA Genotek products may not be available in all geographic regions.