Doctors are trying to find out if there are some genes which lead to prematurity and why some children get more illnesses than others. To help them discover this we collected some saliva by asking the children to spit into a special pot.
The sample was then sent to Dr Hugh Montgomery at UCL, a specialist in Genetics. His team stored and then took the genetic material out of the sample for us.
We have then teamed up with Dr Lucy Raymond from the University of Cambridge to analyse the samples – we were really lucky to get a new research Grant from the Bailey Thomas Foundation to analyse the samples using state-of-the-art technology. This is currently underway (Autumn 2012) and the first results will be out in 2013.
Important point – the careful way that we manage these samples means that no one can trace the genetic material back to the child.