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'Junior scientists' drooling for chance to help research
Children visiting the Ontario Science Centre are getting the chance to do something a little bit gross and a little bit fun to help a research project being done by the Hospital for Sick Children.
They’re drooling into small vials, collecting the saliva for genetic research in a project called Spit for Science.
Psychologist Jennifer Crosbie is leading the research using the spit samples at the Hospital for Sick Children.
“We're working here at the Science Centre to collect up to 30,0000 samples from children and youth,” Crosbie told CTV News Toronto.
Autism and ADHD are just two of the health issues researchers will be looking at with the genetic material they collect.
“With their spit, we collect their DNA, “ Crosbie said.
“And once we have all of this information together, we combine it with environmental information that we get from postal codes and that will help us look at how genes and environmental factors might be having an impact on health and mental health.”
Data from samples, being collected between now and September 2021, will be added to information from 17,000 samples collected in phase one of the project over a decade ago.
Researchers say the 47,000 samples are necessary for genetic studies and will be available for researchers in Canada and around the world.
Spit for Science will be at the Weston Family Innovation Centre, part of the Ontario Science Centre, during peak visiting hours over the next two years, including March Break, long weekends and summer holidays.