The Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) selected the Oragene•RNA Kit made by DNA Genotek for a series of proof-of-principle studies. These will mark the first of several initiatives to investigate the value of saliva for monitoring health during spaceflight, according to DNA Genotek.
VITO will use Oragene•RNA to explore the value of saliva gene expression in biomonitoring and investigate the potential to develop new saliva biomarkers. Oragene•RNA is designed to collect high-quality miRNA from saliva and stabilize it for months at ambient temperatures for eventual transportation.
According to DNA Genotek, Oragene•RNA will be used to study the normal variability in gene expression in a healthy population and compare it with blood gene expression; to study the effect of stress on human volunteers participating in parabolic flight in conjunction with the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) and European Space Agency (ESA), with saliva samples taken before and after the experiment; and to examine the effect of confinement on the neuroimmune system during an extended stay at the Concordia Research Station on the Antarctic Plateau. The project is supported by the Belgian government in conjunction with ESA and the DSHS’ Institute of Neurosciences.
“We have already collected and extracted mRNA from saliva samples using Oragene•RNA to estimate time-dependent variation and intra-individual variation,” states Patrick De Boever, Ph.D., an environmental toxicology researcher at VITO who will lead its investigation. “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 convinced us to intensify our work using saliva and Oragene•RNA and to explore its value in other research projects,” says Dr. De Boever. More initiatives are under way to introduce the concepts in the medical and healthcare sector, according to DNA Genotek.
DNA Genotek has established a global customer base in over 100 countries. Customers include Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, and Johns Hopkins universities.