Ottawa, ON (PRWEB) May 16, 2013
DNA Genotek, a leading provider of products for biological sample collection, today announced ‘Spit for Africa’, a sponsorship program in conjunction with the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG). Spit for Africa is designed to improve access and reduce the cost of DNA collection for locally and internationally funded genomic projects such as the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3 Africa) Initiative and to facilitate growth in membership of the AfSHG.
The aim of the AfSHG is to build the capacity of African researchers and institutions and create an infrastructure that can support and sustain that capacity. AfSHG is an active participant in H3 Africa which supports population-based genetic studies in Africa of common, non-communicable disorders such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease, as well as communicable diseases such as trypanosomiasis and streptococcal infections.
The Spit for Africa program has three main objectives:
1. Provide a long-term health impact on the African population and cover a diverse range of health issues;
2. Accelerate research and advance the fight against disease;
3. Apply technology to break down barriers that impede DNA sample collection.
Under the Spit for Africa program, DNA Genotek will donate $1.00USD for every Oragene.DNA collection kit sold to African funded research projects back to the AfSHG to help support member activities. In addition, all purchases of Oragene.DNA collection kits for African funded projects will receive discounted pricing to maximize the value of the research budget. In order to take advantage of the Spit for Africa program, purchasers must be members of the AfSHG. As part of the program, DNA Genotek will fund the AfSHG membership for participants who are not already members of the society.
“Collaborating with DNA Genotek on the Spit for Africa program allows us to further grow our membership while continuing to suggest ways in which modern genetic research methods can be adapted to the special conditions in Africa,” said Melanie Newport, PhD, Secretary of the AfSHG. “The Spit for Africa program will also help address the widening gap between Africa and the Western world in genetic research by developing resources and knowledge inside Africa.”
“We recognize that collecting DNA samples in many areas in Africa would be a tremendous challenge without the ambient temperature stability of Oragene.DNA,” said Ian Curry, president, DNA Genotek Inc. “Our Spit for Africa program is designed to make Oragene.DNA more accessible to researchers in Africa so they can conduct the research necessary to better understand the genetics of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. In addition, we feel it is vital to support the important work being done by the AfSHG to build and sustain genetic research within Africa.”
About DNA Genotek
DNA Genotek Inc., a subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSUR), focuses on providing high-quality biological sample collection, stabilization and preparation products. The company’s Oragene®.Dx product line is the only FDA 510(k) cleared saliva-based collection kit for in vitro diagnostic use. DNA Genotek also offers Research Use Only products to collect and preserve large amounts of DNA or RNA from saliva for use with humans, animals or livestock. The reliability and ease-of-use of the company’s products have resulted in rapid adoption at top-tier health research institutions globally, including Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, and Johns Hopkins. DNA Genotek markets its products worldwide and has a global customer base with thousands of customers in over 100 countries. For more information about DNA Genotek, visit http://www.dnagenotek.com
About the African Society of Human Genetics
The African Society of Human Genetics (http://www.afshg.org) is the primary forum for scientists interested in human genetics and genomics in Africa to meet, interact, network and collaborate. The society aims to equip the African scientific community and policymakers with the information and practical knowledge they need to contribute to the field of genetics and genomics research as well as attract global attention to the efforts of African scientists. Training, mentoring and support of students and young researchers in human genetics and genomics is a major activity of the society. The society organizes annual workshops/meetings in various parts of Africa and is a partner in the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3 Africa) Initiative (http://www.h3africa.org).
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