The Genetic Link

Welcome to The Genetic Link, a blog providing new insights into DNA and RNA sample collection by DNA Genotek. DNA Genotek is a subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, Inc.

All Posts

Article by: Shauna White

Oragene•RNA measures variability in gene expression for VITO


This morning, DNA Genotek announced an exciting piece of news. Our Oragene•RNA kit has been selected by VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research), for a series of biomonitoring research projects. Human biomonitoring campaigns study the impact of environmental stressors (pollutants, irradiation, psychological stress, etc.) on health and well-being by measuring a suite of biomarkers. Gene expression has proven to be useful to identify molecular changes in blood that relate to environmental stress. VITO will explore the value of saliva gene expression in biomonitoring and investigate the potential to develop new saliva biomarkers.


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:

  1. Study of the normal variability in gene expression in a healthy population and comparison with blood gene expression;
  2. Effect of confinement on the neuro-immune system during an extended stay at the Concordia Research Station on the Antarctic Plateau [the project is supported by the Belgian government and is in conjunction with the Institute of Neurosciences at the German Sport University Cologne and the European Space Agency (ESA)];
  3. Effect of stress on human volunteers participating in parabolic flight [in conjunction with the German Sport University Cologne and ESA]. Saliva samples will be taken before and after the experiment.

Patrick De Boever, Ph.D., will lead the investigation at VITO and will advance the understanding on how stressful events might alter gene expression patterns.

“We have already collected and extracted mRNA from saliva samples using Oragene•RNA to estimate time-dependent variation and intra-individual variation. We successfully processed samples taken during parabolic flights. All the samples provided high amounts of RNA and strong BioAnalyzer results and were compatible with our real-time PCR and microarray platform. These initial results convince us to intensify our work using saliva and Oragene•RNA and to explore its value in other research projects”.

“The decision by VITO to use Oragene•RNA is a strong validation that our saliva-based RNA collection kit delivers leading performance,” said Ian Curry, president and CEO, DNA Genotek Inc. “Oragene•RNA’s unique ability to stabilize an RNA sample for months at ambient temperatures makes it ideal for the challenging environments in these studies.”


The studies involved in this project are the first in a range of initiatives by VITO to investigate the value of saliva for monitoring health issues during spaceflight conditions. Saliva research is now also utilized in VITO’s human biomonitoring program. More initiatives are underway to introduce the concepts in the medical and health care sector.

We are very excited about these projects and wish Dr. De Boever and his team the best of luck.

Photo: Stefan Schneider and Vera Brümmer from the Institute of Neurosciences at the German Sport University Cologne spit in the Oragene•RNA kit prior to a parabolic flight.

Request free trial kits of any DNA Genotek saliva kit

Subscribe and Get Our Latest Posts

Type Your Email Address

Recent Posts

Loyal: pursuing longer, healthier lives for dogs

Extending dog lifespan is a shared aspiration for many pet owners. A longer, healthier life for your dog ...
Sanna Abbasi, PhD Mar 19, 2024 11:50:32 AM

Insights from the Precision Medicine World Conference 2024

This year’s 2024 Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) was held from January 24-26th at the Santa Cl...

Reflecting on the annual American Society of Human Genetics conference 2023

This year marked an important milestone for the annual American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) conferen...
Sanna Abbasi, PhD Nov 14, 2023 4:42:55 PM