• Pharma data yield from newborn blood spots 'can be tripled'
    Pharma analysis of newborn blood could improve threefold with a new method


Pharma data yield from newborn blood spots 'can be tripled'

Jan 13 2011

The commonly used pharma technique of blotting newborns' blood on to Guthrie cards in order to analyse its genetic information could be enhanced through a new technique.

Van Andel Research Institute scientists claim to have improved the process, using tools which are commercially available to triple the effectiveness of the method.

Pharma developers working on the technique, first used in 1963 by Scotland-based American microbiologist Robert Guthrie, may be interested in the findings of the study.

The process involves pricking the heel or fingertip of a newborn child up to 48 hours after birth.

Blood is then blotted on to a Guthrie card and used as a master plate in subsequent experiments to analyse its genetic make-up.

In 2009, scientists were able to demonstrate the ability to detect 3,000 different genes in a sample using the method.

However, the team now claims to have identified 9,000 genes - and says there is the potential for conditions like cerebral palsy to be detected at birth.

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