So, you’ve just completed your latest human genomics research study and you’re waiting to hear if it has been accepted for publication. In the meantime, you’ve been exploring other hypotheses for health conditions and are interested in the growing field of microbiome and metagenomics research. According to a recent review, genetics explains ~20-50% of observed ‘heritability’ of medically important traits[i] but you’re interested in learning more about what makes up ‘the other 50%’. The dynamic microbiome is impacted by our daily activities and our environment (diet, exercise, sleep etc.) plays an important role in the etiology of chronic diseases not accounted for in GWAS. But there are a few items of interest that have delayed your decision to initiate a microbiome study. At the top of the list is how easy is it to integrate a microbiome study into your workflow? Is your lab set up to take on such a project? And what about the downstream applications and analysis. How different is it from SNP genotyping or whole genome sequencing? You also have to consider that you are used to working with saliva or blood and now you have to get familiar with a new sample type (and possibly an unpleasant one) – like feces. All these questions are getting into the ‘meat’ of things you consider when taking on your first microbiome project. But let’s back up a little and look at the big picture and find out why the microbiome is an interesting study area to pursue in the first place. Why all this fuss over some microbes?Read More
DNA Genotek's Sample Collection Blog
In an earlier blog post we discussed the importance of reliable samples for human genomics, microbiome and infectious disease nucleic acid based applications, and how a lack of trustworthy samples can not only lead to incorrect outcomes, but also keep you from having full confidence in your results. To obtain a truly accurate outcome, a sample must be stabilized and protected from the point of collection until it is analysed downstream.Read More
In the summer of 2011 we wrote about an exciting project out of the United Kingdom that selected Oragene collection kits for a study that aimed to unlock genetic changes behind development disorders. The Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) study is a direct collaboration with all twenty-three of the NHS Clinical Genetics Services from across the UK together with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
One of the most critical components of studying the microbiome is ensuring you have a profile that is representative of the microbial community present in the donor. The reality of microbiome research, and any research for that matter, is that a variety of factors can impact the quality of your sample and its microbial community and thus, the quality of your data. Assume for example, that the microbial profile resembles Diagram “A” when in the in vivo state. The goal is to minimize any potential source of variability so that your sample accurately reflects that of the in vivo state (Diagram B) rather than an “ex vivo” artefact (Diagram C). Think of it like this: you could take a “snapshot” of the microbial community at the time of collection, preserve it through the analysis and generate an accurate microbiome profile.
I’m sure you are familiar with the expression “Garbage in, Garbage out”. Popular in the field of computer science, it implies that incorrect or low quality input will result in correspondingly poor output. The mere existence of a result is no guarantee of its quality or accuracy, as surely as cooking with the wrong ingredients will not produce your desired dish.
The DNA Genotek Helping Hands Program is designed to assist organizations that are innovators in disease research, disease prevention and treatment. The goal of the program is to help accelerate research and to advance the fight against disease across the globe.
Several months ago, I posted a blog highlighting how feedback from customers plays a key role in helping us identify opportunities to improve the products and services we offer. Our Customer Satisfaction Surveys are instrumental in capturing your feedback. Earlier this year, we sent our brief survey to our customers and since then have been spending time with our management, sales, product management and product development teams to analyze your feedback and determine what changes we can implement to make improvements.
Everyone at DNA Genotek is familiar with event-based collections. We’ve worked with dozens of customers over the years to help facilitate collecting samples for breast cancer, epilepsy, HLA-typing and more. Recently, our products were used in an event-based collection to support education and provide information on how genes are linked to our ancestry. The New Horizons Festival (NHF) was held at Erasmus MC and several other public locations in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on September 26, 2014 and over 1,500 people participated. The purpose of the event was to make science accessible and attractive to the general public by merging science with art and music to create a fun, interactive event.
Dr. Gerardo Jimenez Sanchez is a fundamental and prominent figure in the development and expansion of human genomics in Mexico. His accomplishments are equally impressive as they are extensive:
In a recent article on The Genetic Link, we talked about going global and how our regulatory strategy helps support our customers who are conducting genetic research. Today, I am focusing on the work we do to ensure our products' compatibility with the technologies our genetic research and testing customers use in the field and in their labs.