Scientists at the Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory at Salisbury District Hospital can now obtain more complete genetic information to diagnose a wide range of conditions, thanks to a new £100,000 state-of-the-art DNA decoding machine.
The machine, which was funded through research money, will keep the team in the forefront nationally in this important area of genetic diagnostics and testing.
With over 3,000 genes associated with genetic disorders and many more to de discovered, this new ‘next-generation sequencing’ equipment will provide more tests and greater gene coverage. This will help them identify genes associated with specific hereditary conditions, so that doctors can make an accurate diagnosis, provide advice, support and improved management of the condition for patients and their families.
The technology will also be used to diagnose cancers and will enable drugs and treatment to be more effectively targeted for individual patients.
Professor Nick Cross, Director of the Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory said: “Genes can be thought of as coded recipes which are responsible for our development and physical make-up. There are over 7,000 genetic disorders which are caused by mutations to single or multiple genes.”
“In order to diagnose a particular condition, it’s important that we are able to identify the relevant genetic changes within a person’s DNA. Better testing and greater coverage are an essential part of this process. This machine will not only give us greater capacity that we can use for research and diagnostics, but will also open up greater opportunities for more targeted forms of treatment.”
The Salisbury scientists have been in the forefront of genetics testing for many years and is one of only two National Genetics Reference Laboratories providing support and advice to the Department of Health.
They are also part of a centre for excellence in genetics research and work in conjunction with the University of Southampton. High quality research and groundbreaking discoveries have continued to attract national recognition and research funding.
For further information please contact:
Public Relations Manager,
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
Tel: 01722 425170