Wow, what an interesting year 2015 has turned out to be. As it comes to a close, I find myself thinking about all the incredible advancements I've seen over the course of my almost 12 years leading DNA Genotek. Narrowing down this year’s list of great accomplishments was quite a challenge. With significant input from the DNA Genotek team and, after much deliberation; the following are the 10 things I will remember most about 2015.Read More
DNA Genotek's Sample Collection Blog
We are excited to announce today that we have appointed Dan Knights, PhD – an expert in machine learning and microbiome analysis – as a scientific advisor to DNA Genotek.Read More
You may be aware that samples collected with DNA Genotek kits and reagents can be shipped and stored at ambient temperature. However, you may not have considered the many benefits afforded by this ability. Not requiring dry ice, cold packs, or freezers can allow you to increase the scope of your study with less cost and logistical complexity. Precious biological samples are also protected from damage caused by shipping delays or power failures. In short, the improved efficiencies ambient protection provides will enable you to accomplish more with your valuable research budgets.Read More
Once again, it is time for our Customer Satisfaction Survey blog updates. To quickly recap, if you are new to our Customer Satisfaction Surveys, we send very brief post-purchase surveys (3 questions) to capture your suggestions and overall experience with us. Through this blog, we then share updates on actions we are taking based on your feedback. To read the previous related blog articles, use these links: (Customer feedback- are we listening? And DNA Genotek’s latest changes based on your feedback)Read More
Front Line Genomics is a new company with a mission to help bring the benefits of genomics to patients faster. DNA Genotek interviewed Richard Lumb, CEO of Front Line Genomics about the company, its social mission and their upcoming Festival of Genomics in Boston.Read More
Methylated cytosine, also known as “the fifth base of DNA” has attracted a lot of research attention lately due to its importance in controlling gene expression. This fifth base has inspired researchers to study its impact on several diverse fields, such as oncology, neurology, psychology, forensics and even workplace health and safety. Methylated cytosine has even been used as a predictor of biological age .In this blog post I’d like to share a few examples of the exciting ways this “extra” base is providing new avenues for research.Read More
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
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.