A team of researchers at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) created a genetic test that uses a saliva sample to know the predisposition of individuals to type 2 diabetes and obesity.
In a statement, the ITESM explained that the project, called XplorADN, is a simple and non-invasive test that requires only a sample of between 3 and 4 millilitres of saliva. The technology used in the device, he said, allows them to identify variations in genetic material.
These changes, called polymorphisms, are detected and allow them to discover unique characteristics of each person’s DNA. This allows decoding the information contained in the person’s DNA to know the predisposition to suffer from diabetes and/or obesity.
María Velasco, a professor in the Bioengineering department of the ITESM-Guadalajara and a graduate of Biotechnology Engineering (IBT), explained that once the results are available to the patient, they send a report with the general recommendations, which are mainly based on diet and physical activity. Velasco explained that, only changes in lifestyle can delay the onset of diabetes for up to 10 years.
This new technology, said the authors, allows offering a better quality of life to the population who suffer from these diseases and can delay its appearance up to 10 years, as long as it goes hand in hand with a change in lifestyle.
Gerardo Velasco Gutiérrez, one of the developers of XplorADN and director of the master’s degree in Engineering Management, said they developed this test as a response to Mexico’s challenges in identifying these diseases.
In addition, he said, this is only the first stage of the reserach since in the future they hope to be able to detect under using the same principle “cancer, heart disease or other types of affectations,” Velasco Gutiérrez said.
Mexico ranks first in its rates of diabetes among the 35 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is estimated that 13 million Mexicans are affected by this condition. According to data from the National Survey of Health and Nutrition (Ensanut, 2016), 72.5% of the population aged 20 years and over are overweight or obese.
Source: Agencia ID