World Health Day (April 7th) falls within this month, and to celebrate we thought it would be fun to countdown the top 6 genetic innovations that we feel have the potential to improve human health in a two-part series. For everyone directly involved in the field of science, novel discoveries are the norm. Researchers continue to build on previous discoveries, pushing the boundaries of our known world further every day. It is refreshing to take a step back and realize how profound some of these discoveries truly are. Only a generation ago the genetic realities of today were the incredible stories found within the pages of sci-fi comic books! Not anymore. Here are our first 3:Read More
DNA Genotek's Sample Collection Blog
We would like to introduce you to Oragene•DISCOVER, a new brand for our research customers within the United States. Oragene•DISCOVER is the result of a change in the brand name and labeling of our Oragene•DNA product. Here are some of the reasons why we made this change and what we think it means for you.
We are all familiar with the role genetics play in shaping our physical appearance. You might have inherited your mother’s green eyes or your father’s broad shoulders. We too understand how genes influence our risk or resilience to developing various conditions. In previous The Genetic Link blog features we’ve linked genes with substance abuse, cancer, epilepsy and tropical diseases. But what I’ve been pondering lately is how and to what extent our unique genetic code is involved in making us who we are by shaping our personality, behavior, social interactions and thought processes. Perhaps you’re familiar with the idea of nature versus nurture, or gene versus environment studies. What I want to know is how much of who I am is due to my genetic make-up versus how much is a result of that complicated mix of my early experiences, social and cultural influences, family interactions, education…in other words, my environment? These almost philosophical questions are tackled on a daily basis by psychologists, psychiatrists and neurologists; and I am absolutely riveted by this research.
In the past year, The Genetic Link has explored how genetics is linked to disease, drug response, bone marrow transplants, and even weight loss. I am constantly amazed at the number of new discoveries that link our genes to different aspects of our lives. This past month, I was surprised once again. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a researcher who is doing some novel work in an area that most people would not associate with genetic research.
Oragene is well known for a number of characteristics - ease of use, non-invasive collection, high quality and quantity DNA and, of course, long term storage at ambient temperature. It's often difficult for researchers and clinicians to believe that storage at ambient temperature is possible for DNA samples. We are frequently asked about this specification of our product. However, studies using Oragene prove that customers can rely on the ability to store Oragene/saliva samples at ambient temperatures when collecting samples in remote locations, via the mail, or for event-based recruitment. The figure to the right shows an agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA extracted from Oragene/saliva samples stored at room temperature for years.
Today, DNA Genotek announced our involvement in a significant pilot project with the UK's largest bone marrow registry, the Anthony Nolan Trust. The details of this exciting project follow:
DNA Genotek, a leading provider of products for biological sample collection, stabilization and preparation, today announced that The Anthony Nolan Trust, the UK's largest bone marrow donor registry, has selected Oragene•DNA for a pilot project aimed at increasing donor recruitment. Bone marrow donor registries, also known as HLA registries, use HLA DNA testing to match leukemia patients with prospective donors. The pilot project will determine if donor recruitment can be increased significantly with the use of non-invasive, saliva-based DNA collection compared to blood collection.
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.
For the second year in a row, DNA Genotek collected DNA samples onsite at the National Walk for Epilepsy on March 27th, 2010 in Washington, DC. Our participation in this event supports the efforts of the Columbia University Family Studies in Epilepsy Program and their study which is designed to identify genes that play a role in causing epilepsy. While at the Epilepsy Walk, I had the opportunity to interview Janine Rose, Research Associate at Columbia University about their epilepsy research and how Oragene•DNA has helped their study. You can view the recorded interview here or read the transcript below.
Today, DNA Genotek announced that our Oragene•DNA self collection kit (OG-500), has been selected as a winner in the 2010 Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) competition, the premier awards program for the medical technology community.