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
DNA Genotek's Sample Collection Blog
DNA Genotek is proud to provide a high level of service and support to our customers. We know that our success as a company is tightly integrated with the success of our customers and we are committed to providing access to a team of skilled scientists and creative resources to optimize genetic projects from sample collection through to downstream processing.
While reading a recent publication in the American Journal of Human Genetics Part B entitled DISC1 in Adult ADHD Patients: An Association Study in Two European Samples , I was immediately intrigued by the first sentence of the abstract: “The DISC1 gene was named after its discovery in a Scottish pedigree with schizophrenia (SCZ) patients.”  This inspired me to do a little background reading regarding the discovery of the DISC1 gene and, as it turns out, it’s a pretty interesting story. Therefore, for the third blog in our Genetics and Mental Health Series, I would like to tell you how this curious gene came to be associated with ADHD.
Rafal Iwasiow is Vice President of Research and Development at DNA Genotek. This article was written with contributions from Carlos Merino, Rob Shipman, Anne Bouevitch, Ashlee Brown, Christina Dilane, Evgueni Doukhanine, Mike Tayeb, Bitapi Ray, Cassandra Kelly-Cirino, Jacques Niles, and Adele Jackson.
If you’ve followed DNA Genotek for a while, you’ve probably seen some of our famous t-shirts that are handed out at the American Socieity for Human Genetics (ASHG) meeting each year and you may even be lucky enough to have one. Some of our personal favorites are ‘Spit Happens’ and ‘The Oragene of Species’. With ASHG 2012 coming up in November, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the design for this year’s shirts. This time around, however, we’re going to change things up a little and bring you on board as part of our new design team.
Collecting saliva DNA is more effective and less costly for genetic research, a study suggests. The study, titled Specimen Collection within the CRN: A critical appraisal, was produced by The CRN Pharmacovigilance Project Genomics Working Group. The overall goal of the genomics working group was to explore issues surrounding the collection and use of biological specimens at the participating CRN sites. This report is one of the most comprehensive analyses by an organization on the cost-effectiveness of blood and saliva sample collection for DNA applications. The saliva collection analysis was based on the Oragene kit.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and acne vulgaris (AV) are both skin diseases studied by researchers at the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), Singapore, with the goal of discovering new treatments and strategies that will improve patients’ quality of life. Oragene•DNA was considered the key method for DNA collection for this research. A type of eczema, AD is a non-contagious and chronically relapsing skin rash that is often made worse by allergens such as pet hair or wool. It has been shown to be hereditary, but the specific role of genetics has previously been unclear. What is clear is that when parents have an atopic disease, like hay fever or asthma, the risk to their children of developing AD is significantly higher than the risk to children without a family history of atopic diseases. DNA collected from AD patients helped to narrow down the genetic markers linked to this skin condition.
Some researchers studying infectious diseases will use frozen whole mouth fluid (WMF) as a sample type for collecting microbial DNA. Storage of viable samples requires a modern lab infrastructure with cold storage and DNA from frozen WMF can be difficult to extract. In any low resource setting such as in developing countries, cold storage is a scarce resource and high ambient temperatures prevail. In addition, collections may occur in rural areas away from processing laboratories making traditional sample collection methods a challenge. Recently, a team of researchers undertook a study designed to evaluate DNA from saliva collected with OMNIgene™•DISCOVER for infectious disease sampling, allowing for easy collection, reliable transport and stabilization with no sample degradation.
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.
On June 22, 2011, Principal Investigator and professor of human genetics, pediatrics and urology at UCLA, Dr. Eric Vilain and his team of researchers revealed the results of their study titled “Epigenetic Predictor of Age”. In this study, the research team demonstrated that a person’s age could be reliably predicted from the DNA in saliva samples collected with Oragene using methylation patterns.