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Citizen Science Kit Lets People Monitor Their Genetic Health [Video]

Scientists use crowdfunding to uncover more evidence and build new tools to assess DNA damage.

Ross Brooks
Ross Brooks on February 4, 2014. @greenidealism

Industrial chemicals, ultraviolet light, and ionizing radiation are just some of the factors that can affect our DNA, many of which can cause serious damage and lead to cancer, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Exogen Biotechnology wants to uncover more evidence and build new tools to assess DNA damage, which is why they turned to Indiegogo to raise funds and collect blood samples from the community.

The company hopes to collect about 5,000 DNA samples for the purposes of research, and even though it has already surpassed its $50,000 target, more samples can only help them to advance science that much quicker.

exogen-dna-damage-blood-samples

Cofounders Sylvain Costes and Jonathan Tang are focused on double-strand breaks, which is when both strands in the double helix are severed. Each participant will receive their average number of DNA double-strand breaks, which for the time being is nothing more than a number. Along with a web application where Indiegogo DNA donors can log details about their lifestyle, the team hopes to uncover links between diet and levels of DNA damage.

To find out more about the company and what they hope to achieve, you can watch the video below:

Exogen Biotechnology

Source: VentureBeat

TOPICS: Science
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Ross is a freelance writer who specializes in topics about the environment, architecture, art, design and creative tech. He is passionate about making a difference with his writing, whether that’s to encourage social change, promote a great idea, or just share a little bit of beauty with the world. You can also find his work on Inhabitat and Techly.com.au.

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