According to the scientists of the research center at Johns Hopkins University, human saliva can be called a "treasure trove" of data, which is easily obtained and analyzed with a minimum of cost. It has a huge potential to expose the secrets of biology and genetics, and can also help in the treatment of disease.
What kind of information carries saliva?
1. Easy analysis
One-third of heart attack victims die without knowing about high cholesterol, hypertension, and other factors that increase the risk of cardiac arrest. In part, this happens because the blood test, which is used to determine predisposition to heart disease for many people is quite difficult and painful experience, requires a mandatory visit to the clinic, and a week for treatment. Because many people do not rent it as often as they should.
Now, in the new study, Doug Granger, director of the center, proposed to replace the standard blood test study the saliva. According to him, saliva contains the same protein that indicates a risk of cardiovascular disease based on its level in the blood. "A lot more people are willing to pass the saliva, it's quite simple and painless. Fence of analyzes can be performed at home, because this method is more likely to become a major in the control of cardiac activity, and on an ongoing basis, "says Dr. Granger in a press release.
2. papa daughter
Studies show that daughters who have a warm relationship with their fathers, and later start their sex life and relationships with boys, and also their physical puberty several late. Why is this happening? According to scientists, the answer to this question can also be found in saliva.
When strained relationship with his father, which are characterized by all kinds of prohibitions, disobedience and even violence saliva daughter has a reduced level of the stress hormone cortisol in the morning, and a few raised during the discussion of their problems and experiences with friends. This imbalance indicates a high sensitivity to stressful situations, which has a border crossing which often leads to the wrong life choices and unmanaged stress.
3. Salivary signs of stress
Stress causes the body's fight, which resulted in, among other things going on adrenaline, heartbeat quickens and salivation. At this point, the salivary glands secrete a fluid flooding the enzyme alpha-amylase (salivary alpha-amylase, SAA), which in the analysis can serve as markers of stress.
It is known that stress or emotional shake-up may adversely affect the health of the fetus. Researchers have developed a method for measuring the impact of stress on the body of the mother of the child by monitoring SAA in its saliva.
4. Immunity child
Pre-chewing food their parents before giving her child was a common practice of our ancestors, this method is now common in some cultures. Now it can safely return to use, studies have shown that mother's saliva may help strengthen the immune system of the child.
When sending the baby pathogens that may be present in the saliva of the mother, the child's body "learns" to fight these diseases in the future. It may also reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases, such as asthma, which is so prevalent in industrialized countries, since the data epidemiologists suggest that in children the disease often develops because of the shortage of pathogens at an early age, when the child most of the time to be isolated from them.
Saliva contains complete our genetic circuit, and in a form which is much easier to work with than DNA isolated from other materials.
"Half a drop of saliva is enough to get a clear picture of the genetic," said Dr. Granger. "Samples of saliva can freeze and thaw several times, and they do not lose their properties. They can easily be sent by mail, after which of them we can easily extract a sufficient amount of high quality DNA. "