Genomic integrity is the dynamic means by which cells react and can sometimes adapt to environmental circumstances, a big-picture concept meant to pull together all the molecular genetic details of cells.
At Hackuarium, one of the simplest ways to check cellular genomic integrity, looking for actual breaks in DNA molecules, is being developed for ‘citizen science’ efforts. Two classic methods that reveal DNA breaks, the comet assay and the micronucleus assay, are being modified to use ‘kitchen sink’ ingredients and a person’s own cheek cells. The idea is to allow personal DNA damage monitoring, ex situ assays, and correlations with environmental exposures. Behavioral modifications that may have an impact on individual baseline levels of damage, and development of a cheek cell ‘chip’ are both anticipated.
More help on any and all of these projects is very welcome!
For more info about genomic integrity and how you can protect yours, check out:
(background image from Drew Berry and the AGiR! Art Call!)