In a recent article on The Genetic Link, we talked about our quality and regulatory process and the benefits this brings to our customers. Today, I am focusing on the work we do behind the scenes to make sure our products can be used by researchers around the world.
DNA Genotek's Sample Collection Blog
Over the past few months, we’ve been posting a series of blog articles on the topic of genetics and mental health. This month, we have an exciting story to share with you on the growing role of genetics in understanding a range of psychiatric disorders from an institution that is breaking new ground in this important research area.
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.
I am excited to tell you that today, at the America Society for Human Genetics conference, DNA Genotek launched a new service offering that we're very excited about. GenoFIND™ Genomic Services is a new offering that delivers nucleic acid extraction and detailed analysis optimized for samples collected with our products. The GenoFIND service leverages our expertise with DNA from saliva (Oragene®) to deliver superior support, analysis and easy-to-understand reporting of genomic data designed for geneticists and non-geneticists alike. Many customers want a vendor to offer a solution that spans collection, extraction, testing, analysis and reporting – DNA Genotek will fill this void through offering these high quality services to our customer base.
I'm very excited to tell you that Performagene•LIVESTOCK, DNA Genotek’s product for collecting DNA from livestock using nasal samples, has been selected for the new GenoTest program launched today by Holstein Canada and Semex Alliance Partners. GenoTest is a full scale national program that offers genomic testing services on Illumina’s 3K and 50K genotyping arrays. The program is designed to reduce the costs and complexity of genotyping to provide enhanced genetic evaluations for production, conformation and health/fertility traits for Canadian dairy producers while improving sample collection methods.
If you've been following our blog or our newsletter, you're probably aware that DNA Genotek has experienced significant growth in our partner program. We've added partners across all categories: genomics service providers, diagnostic service providers and technology vendors.
A host of familial cancer syndromes have been described in which several members of the same family develop cancer at a young age due to an inherited genetic susceptibility. It has been well established that germline mutations in the DNA sequence of genes that are protective against cancer, including tumour suppressor and DNA repair genes, are the culprit in most familial cases of cancer. Because they are inherited, these germline mutations are present in every cell of the body from conception into adulthood, knocking out one of the two copies of the protective gene. They confer a high risk of cancer development at a young age, although the cancer itself arises when the remaining normally-functioning copy of the gene is knocked out in susceptible tissues due to contributing environmental conditions, taking with it the last remnants of protection it once afforded against cancer. However, for a number of individuals with young-onset cancer, as well as entire families, the inherited defect remains unidentified, which complicates genetic counselling and clinical management of family members. Lynch syndrome is the most common of all family cancer syndromes, in which patients develop a range of cancers, the most frequent of which are colorectal and uterine cancers. Lynch syndrome is usually caused by germline mutations within one of the four genes that encode the mismatch repair system, most commonly MLH1 or MSH2. Loss of protection from the mismatch repair system results in the accumulation of mutations during cell division, and ultimately, cancer ensues. However, in about a third of Lynch syndrome patients, standard genetic screening fails to identify any pathogenic sequence change within the mismatch repair genes that might be responsible for their disease.
This month, PLoS ONE published a new research study that I think will interest readers of The Genetic Link. The study, titled "Array-Based Whole-Genome Survey of Dog Saliva DNA Yields High Quality SNP Data", was written by Jennifer S. Yokoyama, Carolyn A. Erdman and Steven P. Hamilton of the Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Human Genetics, at the University of California, San Francisco. The study is interesting for several reasons.
At the department of Anthropology and Genetics Institute at the University of Florida, we study genetic variation in modern human populations to answer diverse questions ranging from the route early humans took when they first migrated out of Africa to the underlying causes of racial differences in susceptibility to complex diseases. To explore these varied aspects of human evolutionary history, we spend a lot of time figuring out how to collect DNA from a large number of volunteers. With today's genetic technology, all that's necessary is to obtain a small blood or saliva sample from each of our participants -- a task relatively easy to do in concept but quite a bit more challenging in practice.
DNA Day commemorates the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA's double helix by Watson and Crick in 1953. The Human Genome Project was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. The primary goal of the project was to determine the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA and to identify the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes of the human genome. As a result of the Human Genome Project, a Congressional resolution designated April 23 as the National DNA Day.