Sunday 8 January is not only a celebration of Prof Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday, it’s also the date when the MND Association’s DNA bank appeal will be launched on BBC Radio 4.
Our DNA bank contains over 3,400 samples from people with MND and their families. By using these samples scientists in this country have already made significant discoveries into the causes of MND. To advance research into MND we now want to make the DNA bank available to researchers across the world. To do this, we’re asking people to donate funds to the BBC Radio 4 charity appeal for our DNA bank. All money raised through the appeal will go towards maintaining the samples and making them accessible to worldwide researchers. It will take a global research effort to beat MND, and the DNA bank is a very important tool in the fight against the disease.
Samples from the DNA bank will help scientists identify genes that cause familial (inherited) MND or those that influence susceptibility to sporadic MND. This will offer crucial insight into the causes of MND. Understanding the causes of MND will lead to the development of new treatments.
To listen to the broadcast narrated by Joss Ackland, listen in on Sunday 8 January at 7:55am or 9:26pm to BBC Radio 4. This will also be repeated on Thursday 12 January at 3:27pm, or you can listen again after the broadcast.
DNA bank samples are currently being used in a number of studies investigating the causes of familial and sporadic MND. For more information, please see the DNA bank pages of our website.
Read our press release on this story.