By Omowunmi Alake and Oluwakemi Oladipo
Lagos – The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria (AMLSN) has called for awareness on the current trends and issues bothering on Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing, diagnosis and analysis.
Mrs Maureen Aniedobe, the Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba chapter of the association, made the call on Tuesday at the Annual Symposium organised by AMLSN in Lagos.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia describes DNA as “a molecule composed of two chains (made of nucleotides).
“It coils around each other to form a double helix carrying the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning and reproduction of all known living organisms and many viruses.
“DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are nucleic acids; alongside proteins, lipids and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), they are one of the four major types of macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life.’’
The theme of the programme was: “DNA Analysis and Parental Disputes”.
Aniedobe said that the symposium was organised to create awareness on the trend of paternity disputes in Nigeria.
“Paternity and maternity test establishes the genetic proof of whether a man or woman is the biological father of an individual.
“In 2015 in the U.K, it was revealed that one in 25 fathers may not be the biological parent of their children, which became a research question for everyone.
“We have tried to put together knowledge packed presentations to create opportunities to form new networks for laboratory strengthening in DNA analysis and diagnosis,’’ she said.
Also, Mr Elochukwu Adibo, the Director of El-Lab and Research Centre, Lagos, said that the symposium’s agenda reflected the association’s willingness to engage and take head-on complicated questions of contested paternity.
Adibo, who was the chairman of the symposium, said that the question of contested paternity and maternity in some cases was becoming alarming and growing at an unprecedented rate.
“Participants, especially, medical laboratory scientist and other medical professionals in the private sector should pay attention to investment and collaboration into molecular diagnosis and genetic technology,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Prof. Babatunde Salako, the Director-General of NIMR, urged medical laboratory scientists to promote and encourage quality outputs in their laboratories.
Salako, represented by Dr Olaoluwa Akinwale, Research Director, Public Health in NIMR, said that laboratory scientists should ensure quality outputs through good laboratory practice and quality assurance.
“As a professional association, there is no doubt that your members must be abreast of scientific advances and innovations in your area of practice and health services generally.
“It is particularly of great interest that this year’s theme will discuss DNA analysis and its applications in solving the challenges of parentage.
“I do hope that the outcome of this workshop will be transformed into implementable actions in and outside of NIMR by all participants in DNA analysis,’’ he said.
Salako, however, appealed to members of the association to be more dedicated, determined and focussed in order to provide the best for Nigerians seeking their services.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the main role of DNA in the cell is the long-term storage of information.
DNA profiling is useful in determining biological parentage, forensics and criminal justice.