Spitting is a good thing. When it is in the name of science and in a tube for the Healthy Nevada Project study! But, why is it necessary to spit in a tube to collect DNA for the study? We hear this question often from participants. “There are numerous ways to collect DNA,” explained Dr. Joseph Grzymski, principal investigator for the landmark Healthy Nevada Project study, “but our partner Helix works with salvia samples due to the easy nature of the collection.”
Typically, joining the study and testing takes between 20 to 30 minutes, with a caveat of no eating for drinking for 30 minutes prior to testing. Detailing the importance of ease of testing for participants, Dr. Gryzmksi said, “there is no medical professional needed, as there would be with a blood draw, and it is relatively non-invasive.” Which is welcome news for those with needle aversion or who have limited time. “DNA is extracted from cells (mostly white blood cells).” Explaining 30-minute rule, “that is the main reason we have the 30-minute no eating or drinking rule. If you eat or drink, it can dilute or contaminate the sample with other DNA and other “junk”.
Dr. Grzymski reminds us, “DNA are the building blocks to life and all living things have some form of genetic material”. Learn more about DNA or conduct your own experiment with extracting DNA from a strawberry from the video below, created by personal genomics company Helix.
We love talking about DNA and the Healthy Nevada Project study, so give us a call at 775-982-6914 or if southern Nevada call 702-361-0023 if you have any questions. Stay in touch with the Healthy Nevada Project study by following us on social media!