U of M study seeks DNA of healthy kidsHudson resident Michelle Roesler is part of a University of Minnesota research team hoping to take DNA samples from at least 500 children attending the Minnesota State Fair.
Hudson resident Michelle Roesler is part of a University of Minnesota research team hoping to take DNA samples from at least 500 children attending the Minnesota State Fair.
The main aim of the Gopher Kids Study is to find out what genes underlie children’s healthy development.
Children ages one to 11 from St. Croix and Pierce counties in Wisconsin also are invited to participate in the study.
Roesler is a study coordinator for the university’s Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Pediatrics.
Researchers normally study sick children with the goal of learning about a disease, Roesler says.
The plan for this study led by Dr. Logan G. Spector is to look at a large number of healthy children with the purpose of finding out what makes them healthy.
The researchers promise that participation in the study will take no more than 30 minutes.
Parents will fill out a short questionnaire while a saliva sample is taken from the children. The children also will have their height, weight, waist size and blood pressure measured.
At least one biological parent must accompany the child. The parent also will be asked to give a saliva DNA sample.
The donation of a blood spot (by pricking the finger) and fingernail clippings are optional for the participants.
Roesler said parents will do the fingernail clipping.
The samples and measurements are being taken in the University of Minnesota building on Dan Patch Avenue, two blocks west of Gate 5.
The collecting began Thursday, Aug. 26, and will continue through Wednesday, Sept. 1.
The hours are 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Wednesday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.
In addition to the part of the study taking place at the fair, parents will receive a questionnaire in January or February that will take about 45 minutes to complete.
The participating parents and children are asked to return to the state fair in 2011 and 2012 for additional sample collecting. They will be sent free admission tickets to the fair.
As a token of appreciation for participating in the study this year, the children will get $5 in midway ride tickets and a souvenir.
You can learn more about the study and watch a three-minute video message from the professor in charge of it by going online to www.peds.umn.edu/gopherkids.
Roesler is a U of M graduate and has worked for the university since 1997. Her job is to coordinate interactions between study participants and the researchers conducting the studies.
She and her husband, University of Wisconsin-River Falls chemistry professor Dan Marchand, have lived in Hudson since 2002.
“We really enjoy Hudson,” Roesler said.
She said she enjoyed showing off the downtown to Dr. Spector when he participated in the recent Gopher to Badger Half-Marathon race that ended in Lakefront Park.
“It didn’t take too much to convince him that St. Croix and Pierce counties are part of the Twin Cities metro,” she added.