Research Center For DNA Diagnostics
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The Research Centre for DNA Diagnostics (RCDD) is a medical research facility at Karnatak University, Dharwar, Karnataka, India. The primary objective of the centre is to identify hereditary disorders prevalent in north Karnataka and to conduct advanced research.
According to Pramod B. Gai, professor and coordinator of the Department of Applied Genetics and lead researcher at the centre, studies have revealed the high frequency of consanguineous marriages in South India, especially uncle-niece and first cousin marriages: "Marriages between close relatives are high in rural north Karnataka. This increases the frequency of homozygosity of harmful recessive genes in the population and in turn, increases the co-efficiency of inbreeding. As a result compared to other areas, there is a high frequency of hereditary disorders in the region".
The research conducted at the centre is at four levels — single-gene disorders (such as Sickle cell anaemia, Thallassemia, and Haemophilia), chromosomal disorders (such as Down’s Syndrome, Turner syndrome, Klinefelter Syndrome), biochemical disorders (such as Phenylketonuria, Galactosemia, Alkaptonuria) and multifactorial/polygenic disorders (such as Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and various types of cancer).
According to the initial plan, the tests would be conducted on samples taken from patients visiting the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) Hospital, Hubli. During the next stage, the facility would be extended to other government and private medical colleges in north Karnataka. The facilities would be extended to other parts of the state in phases.
As part of the project, genetic counselling centres would be established at KIMS and RCDD. At a later stage, RCDD also plans to train medical professionals and other doctors in the diagnosis of hereditary diseases and the role of human genetics in medical practice.