It’s that time of year again when I reflect on the past year and highlight DNA Genotek’s top ten list for 2011. This is now the third installment of my annual top ten list series and each year, I am surprised at how difficult it is to keep this list to just ten items. I easily come up with 20 to 30 topics that could be on this list and struggle to choose those most deserving of a mention. This year, there were many significant events for DNA Genotek. After much deliberation, here is my top ten list for 2011, in no particular order.
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Cigarette smoking remains a leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in many countries. The chance that a lifelong smoker will die prematurely from complications due to smoking is approximately 50%. There is an increasing interest in understanding the genetic link to nicotine dependence in order to better predict who is at risk and what steps can be taken to mitigate that risk. In a collaborative effort, scientists at Oregon Research Institute and SRI International are studying the interaction between specific candidate genes associated with the stress/reward pathway and both early life adversity and ongoing life stress. The investigators are also seeking to identify salivary biomarkers of life stress, comparing those who have experienced high life stress with those who have experienced little, through an analysis of an individuals’ RNA. This may help to explain the success or failure of interventions designed to prevent the initiation of tobacco use and the progression to nicotine dependence.
The Oragene•RNA Kit is the only all-in-one system for the collection, stabilization and transportation of high quality mRNA from saliva. It is designed for human mRNA expression profiling. VITO has chosen Oragene•RNA for the following proof-of principle projects: