APPLICATIONS: SNP DETECTION
CHANGING THE FUTURE
The multiplexing capabilities of our CoPrimers™ platform go hand-in-glove with the technology’s applications in detecting single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs (often pronounced “snips”). SNPs are small, but in some cases clinically-significant genetic variations in a given gene, and they are typically detected using PCR testing.
SNPs may be beneficial, such as those adaptations that result from external stimuli leading to increased production rates among crops, or enhanced resistance to diseases and other dangers of our environment. Other SNPs are harmful, and being aware of genetic predispositions towards cancer, mental illness, or heart disease in advance can allow us to take the preventative measures required to improve our quality of life years before being diagnosed with a disease or illness.
Typically, when designing a test to identify several SNPs in a multiplexed fashion, primer pairs detecting each target must be designed, optimized and verified independently to ensure they do not cross-react and affect the outcome (i.e.generate a false positive result). However, a Co-Diagnostics in-house study in 2018 confirmed that due to the unique structure and cooperative relationship between the CoPrimer molecules, CoPrimers can be used in multiplexed SNP reactions without subsequent re-optimization, allowing researchers or technicians to utilize any combination of primer sets without concerns of cross-reactivity.
Medical applications of SNP detection include identifying the presence of cancer cells or cell-free genetic material in a tissue or liquid biopsy, and to determine the distinct type of cancer involved. A real-life example of this includes being able to identify specific mutation(s) in genes linked to breast cancer in order to determine a patient’s prognosis, initiate the most effective and affordable treatment and to determine whether chemotherapy is necessary.
SNP detection is also used in the agricultural industry to identify variations in crop genomes associated with desired characteristics such as higher yield, drought and disease resistance and improved seed viability.