LifeScanner developer Sujeevan Ratnasingham

A DNA identification kit for personal use developed at U of G’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics (CBG) was featured in a CBC News story on Monday.

The LifeScanner kit was developed by Sujeevan Ratnasingham, associate director of informatics at CBG. It has a number of applications, from detecting mislabelled food products to identifying strange insects or plants.

Ratnasingham explained to CBC that using the kit is a simple, five-step process: place a sample in the vial; shake it; scan the code; fill out an online form; and put the vial in the mail.

DNA kit with test tubes
Inside the LifeScanner DNA identification kit

“It shows up at our lab where the DNA is extracted and the DNA barcode is read and scanned against the global database to identify the species and the information just goes flying right back to the user’s mobile app,” he said.

In May, a panel of judges chose the LifeScanner kit as the winner of the U of G Gryphon’s LAAIR (Leading to the Accelerated Adoption of Innovative Research) innovation pitch competition. The prize of $7,500 was awarded to LifeScanner’s developers, Biolytica Inc.

The National Post also featured a short article about the kit on their website.

Learn more on the LifeScanner website.