Scottish scientists create low cost technique for DNA testing
A quick, low cost DNA test to determine a person?s chance of developing an inherited disease could be just around the corner, say Scottish scientists.
Researchers at Edinburgh University say their technique can deliver reliable results without the need for expensive enzymes used in conventional DNA testing.
The new test, based on chemical analysis of just a drop of saliva, allows medics to identify variations in a patient?s genetic code. Small changes in DNA can decide whether a person is healthy, prone to disease, or has a life-threatening condition such as cystic fibrosis.
Juan Diaz-Mochon of the university?s School of Chemistry, who led the research, said: "This technology offers a speedy, cost-efficient alternative to existing methods of DNA analysis.
"The market for DNA testing is quickly expanding as it becomes more affordable. Our method could help reach the goal of complete genome analysis in a few hours for less than $1,000 (£637)."
With funding from commercial partners and the Scottish Enterprise fund, he said his team planned to market a cystic fibrosis test very soon and then run further research to see if the same method could be used to decode entire human genomes.
Added the 16 February 2010 in category Innovation News