DNA Bank Q & A
Help make an investment in your future!!
Choose to add your Samoyed to the new SCARF DNA Bank and Database!!!
- What is a Samoyed DNA Bank Repository?
- Why would the Foundation create a DNA Bank Repository?
- Why is our Samoyed Bank asking owners of normal, healthy Samoyeds to enter their data and donate their DNA for Research?
- Why do many research investigations ask for only ill animals, if it is better to have both normal (control) and ill animals for a study?
- Most research or DNA banks only ask me to release my animal's DNA for their use in research. Why am I being asked to sign a release document that looks so legal?
- Once I enter my animal's DNA and information in the Bank, will its personal information ever become public?
1. What is a Samoyed DNA Bank Repository?
A DNA Bank Repository is a facility that simply stores the DNA and the accompanying data on Samoyeds, until such time as the Foundation authorizes the release of a portion of the DNA for an approved and funded research investigation.
2. Why would the Foundation create a DNA Bank Repository?
The Foundation has created a repository as it is the most effective means to:
- provide the necessary DNA samples for an active research study.
- store a large quantity of DNA that represents the entire breed that can be used for future research investigations.
- build a database library of anonymous statistical information on the Samoyed breed which can: a.) provide insights to assist breeders in their breeding decisions and the care of their Samoyeds, or clues for a research investigation and b.) track phenotypic traits, or environmental attributes that may be associated with a disorder
3. Why is our Samoyed Bank asking owners of normal, healthy Samoyeds to enter their data and donate their DNA for Research?
Most people have had a science class, where they used a “Control group” in an experiment to compare the differences in the experiment. This is the basis of sound science. Many normal DNA samples are needed for investigators to establish the normal, healthy, genetic sequence pattern in the Samoyed breed. Once the normal sequence is established, the investigators can compare the normal sequence to the genetic sequence of the ill Samoyeds. The areas where the genetic patterns are different may indicate the gene or genes (markers) that are suspect in the development of a disease. The identification of such gene markers would increase the speed or possibility that the investigator would have productive results.
4. Why do many research investigations ask for only ill animals, if it is better to have both normal (control) and ill animals for a study?
Most research grants have very limited funds and that funding is approved for short periods of time. So, the common focus is to collect as many sick animals as possible, with the limited time and limited funds available. Once there are enough DNA samples in our Samoyed bank, we would be able to send our research investigators both types of DNA samples. This would give them a more complete picture of our breed’s genetic blueprint, which could help the investigators find a treatment or test for our breed.
5. Most research or DNA banks only ask me to release my animal's DNA for their use in research. Why am I being asked to sign a release document that looks so legal?
It is common practice that most research institutions or DNA banks do not provide the owner, who is donating their animal's DNA for research, with full disclosure of the owner’s rights, as the owner of the animal's DNA. When you enter a Samoyed into the Samoyed DNA Bank you are trusting the Foundation to make the right decisions for our owners and our breed. Your Foundation wants you to fully understand all the aspects of your DNA ownership. We feel it is your right to know and understand. It is our responsibility to you to disclose all aspects of DNA ownership and answer any questions that might arise from your understanding of your property rights.
6. Once I enter my animal's DNA and information in the Bank, will its personal information ever become public?
No. If a researcher has had success, he/she may publish a scientific paper, which may refer to animal's by the researcher codes. The owner or the dog can never be identified. However, when the owner filled out the original paperwork for the Bank, they may permit a researcher to contact them for further information on that animal. Also, from time to time, statistical analysis may be performed on the collected data (to detect trends, identify breed medical problems etc), and those results, without any personal identifiers will be displayed on the SCARF website to improve the knowledge of Samoyed owners.
7. What could I expect to get from this anonymous statistical information that will be reported from the database in the DNA Bank?
A database can sort, track and organize every piece of information. When the Bank has enough Samoyed DNA and its accompanying data in the database, reports can be published. Those anonymous reports can identify trends for our owners on nutrition, vaccinations, environment, pesticides, phenotype, etc. and target how they might impact the health of our animals. Such, information can be of immediate use for an owner. Examples of this might be:
- a vaccination schedule or vaccines could be identified as possible triggers for the onset of one or many disorders
- certain food based diets could be commonly associated with allergies or multiple disorders
- environmental conditions or pesticides could be implicated with the onset of one or more disorders
- certain supplements may lower the levels of medication or might be used as a substitute for prescription medications
- phenotypic data could be used by breeders to help them determine how to increase the probability that they can neutralize the development of undesirable traits or disorders
8. What security measures have been put in place to protect the identity of the animal and the owner?
- Each animal is assigned an Identification Code that is password protected. That Identification Code will link all information about the owner and the animal. The DNA Bank is an independent facility and it's personnel are not affiliated with any Samoyed dog organization. The Identification Code and password are secured and only accessible by 2 people at the bank.
- The DNA bank provides a secure on-line data entry system to submit information on the animal for those owners with internet access.
- Alternatively, paperwork may be filled out in the privacy of the owners' home and sent with the swab kit directly to the bank.
- In order to access their Samoyed's records, owners must provide their user name and password.
- All DNA Samples, the accompanying pedigree, and any other documents pertaining to that animal or owner, will be released to a research facility with no identifying information other than the Identification Code which has been assigned to it.
9. Why would I want to put my Samoyed's DNA and data information into the DNA Bank?
- Each Samoyed has a genetic blueprint, which is a piece of the Samoyed genetic puzzle, and researchers can use it's DNA to map the Samoyed genetic codes.
- Collecting information on the Samoyed breed’s environment, nutrition and vaccinations can reveal trends that could affect your Samoyed's quality of life.
10. Why am I asked to sign a transfer of DNA Ownership and Release form when I enter my Samoyeds' DNA in the Bank?
You own the Samoyed and therefore you own anything that is from that animal. The Foundation cannot accept responsibility for the maintenance of your property (DNA); nor could the Foundation release the animal's DNA and data to a research facility, unless you have given it to the Foundation. Therefore, when the owner submits a DNA sample to the Bank, it must be accompanied by a signed transfer of ownership & release form, which is provided in the DNA kits.
11. How do I donate my Samoyed's DNA to the DNA Bank repository?
- You can participate in a collection event held at a local regional club. Upcoming collection events are listed on the home page.
- You can follow the link to the DNA Bank and request a DNA kit to be mailed to your home.
12. What is the difference between participating in a collection event or requesting a DNA Kit?
If you participate in a collection event:
- You enter all your Samoyed's information on-line into a secure data base system using a password that you have created. You bring the animal, the animal's Identification Code, a copy of the animal/s 3-generation pedigree and a signed DNA release form to the collection site. The local club will have a technician to swab the inside cheek of the animal to collect its skin cells (DNA).
If you request DNA Kits/s from the DNA Bank:
- You will pay for each kit on line. When you receive the kits, you will follow the instructions for swabbing the inside cheek of each animal. The paperwork will have an assigned Identification Code. You fill out the paperwork, create your security password and return the completed paperwork, the DNA swabs, the release form and a 3-generation pedigree to the bank. The Foundation Treasurer will be notified by the Bank that you have returned the kit and it is complete. The Treasurer will re-reimburse your expense for the DNA bank kit (s).
13. Is there a service fee for maintaining my Samoyed's in the DNA Bank Repository?
The Foundation has allocated funds to pay for the collection, storage and maintenance of all Samoyeds in the DNA Bank. However, the processing of fees is different depending on how the animals' DNA is collected.
- If you participate through a local regional club DNA collection event, there will be no outlay of your money.
- If you request a DNA kit from the Bank, by e-mail or phone, you will pay the fees upfront. After the DNA kit and all the accompanying documentation (release form and database entry form) is returned to the DNA Bank, you will be re-reimbursed by the Foundation Treasurer for your DNA Bank kit (s).
14. Would there be any future monetary gain either to myself or the Foundation from the use of my animal's DNA?
No, neither the Foundation nor you would be entitled to any royalties that might result from the development of test or treatments. The Foundation's Samoyed research investigations are funded through another non-profit, like the AKC Canine Health Foundation, and their scientific advisory board makes determinations on the quality of the research study. They would sign a contract allowing grant money to be funneled from breed clubs to an approved investigation. Investigating entities and universities sign contracts to benefit their principals and their organization.
15. What is a DNA Bank kit?
It is a package that will contain instructions, paperwork and buccal swabs (cheek swabs).
16. Can I keep any of the DNA swabs for my own personal use?
Yes, the current swab kits contain 5 buccal swabs. Only four will be returned to the DNA Bank. The owner keeps one swab for each dog they enter into the bank. The swabs can be kept indefinitely are room temperature under low humidity. Currently, the only known way to damage the DNA on the swab would be to allow it to get wet and /or contaminated.
17. Why would an owner want to keep a buccal swab on their Sammy?
By retaining ownership of that swab, the owner can use it in any manner they see fit. As DNA tests become available in the future, an owner can have their living and/or decreased dogs tested at their discretion.
18. What if I want more swabs or the swabs cannot be used, as is, for a certain test?
The DNA Bank will provide our Samoyed owners with two additional services:
- they can extract the DNA from the swab, so it could be used in a test of your choosing
- they can make copies of the DNA on a swab, if more DNA should be needed by the owner.
In both cases, the owner would personally contact the DNA bank. The Bank would discuss procedures and quotes fees for the requested services on an individual basis.
19. Can DNA be extracted from stored semen on deceased Samoyeds?
Yes, stud dogs that were used frequently or have had great influence in the breed would be ideal. Spent straws from frozen semen matings can be sent directly to the DNA bank after the implantation; there is no need for special preservation or refrigeration. In this way, the valuable DNA can be extracted without wasting any straws. Extra processing fees would have to be assessed on a case by case basis, so please contact SCARF prior to submitting spent semen straws.
20. Can non-SCA members donate their Samoyed’s DNA to the bank?
Yes, since the purpose of the bank is to house a large cross section that is representatives of the breeds' DNA, all Samoyed owners may participate by donating their animals' DNA.
21. Can Samoyed owners from outside the USA donate their Samoyed's DNA?
In the initial set up stages, the DNA bank will collect DNA from only USA Samoyeds. However, since the mission of the Foundation is the health of all Samoyed, at some point in the near future, we expect to open up the bank to all non-USA Samoyeds. Once that is accomplished - our bank will house the largest DNA representation of any dog breed. This will certainly make our breed very attractive to research investigators.
22. Can I enter a Samoyed who is not registered with any purebred registry?
Yes. A very high percentage of these animals will be pure bred Samoyed and are valuable in our genetic mapping and data reports on environmental factors. The few that may not be, will be genetically identified and filtered out by a researcher, as he works with their DNA sequences.
23. If I enter a Samoyed into the bank, can I make changes to its information or my personal information at a later date?
- If the animal was entered online, you can go the site, enter your user name and password and update your account information.
- If the animal was entered by mail, you would have to call the bank, or mail them the information and include the Identification Code, email address (user name) and password.
24. Who determines how and when the DNA is used in a research study?
The Foundation board would vote to approve and fund a research investigation. The Foundation would then send a written authorization to the DNA Bank permitting them to send the appropriate amounts of DNA to the designated researcher (s).
25. If my animal is entered into a research investigation, will I receive information from the researcher?
A researcher will submit a summary of his investigative findings to the parties who funded the study. That would be public information and the Foundation would publish it on our website. Under certain circumstances, a researcher may structure a study, so that information on an animal is sent to the owner.
26. Can I submit data and DNA samples on dogs I do not currently own - like puppies I have bred?
No, you can only submit DNA and data for Samoyeds you currently own.
27. If I co-own a dog, will all owners have to sign the submittal forms?
If a dog is co-owned, the owner in possession of the Samoyed must submit the Samoyed's DNA and accompanying data into the Bank. All owners must sign the release document for the DNA and data to be accepted by the Bank.
28. Can I submit data, but not DNA, on deceased dogs to add to the wealth of knowledge?
Yes, you may submit information on deceased dogs who do not have DNA banked in the repository.
29. Can I submit data, but not DNA, if my Samoyed has had an adverse reaction to a drug or product?
Yes, there is a separate companion database where you may submit adverse event information on dogs who do not have DNA banked in the repository. However, these dogs must be entered into the main database prior to filling out the adverse event report.
30. Does this DNA collection have anything to do with AKC's DNA program for frequent sires or CHIC/OFA Bank?
No, the SCA Foundation is a totally separate organization and devoted only to improving the quality of life of the Samoyed. Our DNA Bank is solely for collecting DNA and data on the Samoyed breed. The AKC's DNA program for frequent sires and the CHIC/OFA Bank is collecting data on multiple breeds for their own objectives.