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
Dr. Hugh Rienhoff is well known as a technology visionary, entrepreneur, and venture investor in life sciences. In addition to his current role as CEO of FerroKin BioSciences, and his appointment as a Visiting Scientist at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, he has also founded the nonprofit organization MyDaughtersDNA.org, a community focused on aiding those with diagnostically challenging genetic conditions. It was not simply that he was a trained clinical geneticist and had the background and resources to spur this effort. The motivation was simple: Dr. Rienhoff ‘s daughter was born with an unknown genetic disorder. She exhibited a puzzling array of symptoms including small muscles -- no one is sure what might lie in her future because no one is sure what is wrong with her.
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.
Genetic research into diseases and conditions that predominantly affect children has always been particularly challenging. Traditionally, when high quality and high quantity DNA is required for a research project (e.g. greater than several micrograms), blood has typically been the only option. Blood draws are painful for children, dreaded by parents and disliked by technicians who must collect from the frightened child. It is also much more difficult to draw blood from children than from adults, due to the relative size of their veins and their willingness to stay in a fixed position. Unlike adults, children often don't have the ability to reason with their fears. But when a lot of DNA is required, there have not been many options.
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.
The number of clinical trial and epidemiological studies collecting genomic DNA from a large number of individuals is increasing rapidly. There are many options for obtaining these biospecimens including blood collection, saliva collection, tissue and more. Yet, recruitment is perhaps the most challenging part of any scientific research study. Potential study participants are often reluctant to participate because they are needle phobic, do not want to travel to a specific location to participate in the collection process or are otherwise inconvenienced by the study criteria. Problems with recruitment can disrupt the timetable for a research project, preoccupy staff and, ultimately, result in a trial being abandoned (Ashery & McAuliffe, 1992).
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.
Recent statistics suggest cancer mortality rates are declining due to better prevention, early detection methods and improved treatments, yet so much remains to be done. With cutting-edge research continually pushing the boundaries of science and discovery, it is not surprising that an increasing number of cancer researchers are turning to the newest tool in the DNA collection toolbox - DNA from saliva.