Real time DNA analysis comes to the High Street

October 11, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
The world’s first on-the-spot DNA testing has been launched for a cosmetics application.

DNA Electronics, a spin out from Imperial College, London, has teamed up with cloud-based company geneOnyx to provide analysis of DNA in a few minutes to map how ingredients in makeup will match with an individual's genetic profile.
“This is a major milestone for consumerised DNA testing solutions and one that the whole world will be watching," said Professor Chris Toumazou, Chairman and CEO of DNA Electronics and Professor of Imperial College London. He is also founder of chip designer Toumaz Technology. "DNA Electronics’ technology is the power behind an entirely new class of semiconductor sequencing and DNA analysis products that are distilling sophisticated laboratory-based genetic testing equipment and making it both very affordable and easy-to-use. The launch has huge significance for the application of true point-of-care DNA testing solutions across medical and non-medical markets alike. The same semiconductor platform technology has been successfully used in the medical industry to sequence the DNA of some of them most severe human diseases.”
DNA’s Genalysis lab-on-a-chip takes a saliva sample to detect the genetic signature using the biological process of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), feeding the results into a cloud-connected gateway linked to CosMos, geneOnyx’s cloud-based analysis engine. The genetic test results are analysed to provide a personalised shortlist of skincare products most appropriate and effective to the individual within 30 minutes. CosMos includes a mapping database based on research into cosmetic product active ingredients, genes and how compounds are metabolised.
The £295 service is available as an in-store treatment to The Organic Pharmacy customers at the Kings Road store in London before a global launch early next year.