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Foundation FAQ

1.  Why would the Foundation advertise for Airedale samples to be sent in to the Airedale DNA Bank?


The Foundation has created an Airedale DNA Bank as it is the most effective means to:
1. provide the necessary DNA samples for active research studies.
2. store a large quantity of DNA, including tissue, serum, or other types of samples, that represents the entire breed that can be used for future research investigations.
3. build a database library of anonymous statistical information on the Airedale breed which can: a.) provide insights to assist breeders in their breeding decisions and the care of their Airedales, or clues for a research investigation and b.) track phenotypic traits, or environmental attributes that may be associated with a disorder and c) allow researchers to directly communicate with the veterinarians and owners of the Airedales to collect as much info as needed, and at age-specific times for study of diseases that have age-related points of expression.

4. to have a central location for all information about research samples and current studies which include the Airedale.

 

2.  Why is our foundation asking owners of normal, healthy Airedales to enter their data and donate their DNA for Research?


Most people have had a science class, where they used a "Control group" in an experiment to compare the differences in the experiment. This is the basis of sound science. Many normal DNA samples are needed for investigators to establish the normal, healthy, genetic sequence pattern in the Airedale breed. Once the normal sequence is established, the investigators can compare the normal sequence to the genetic sequence of the ill Airedales. The areas where the genetic patterns are different may indicate the gene or genes (markers) that are suspect in the development of a disease. The identification of such gene markers would increase the speed or possibility that the investigator would have productive results.


3.  Why do many research investigations ask for only ill animals, if it is better to have both normal (control) and ill animals for a study?


Most research grants have very limited funds and that funding is approved for short periods of time. So, the common focus is to collect as many sick animals as possible, with the limited time and limited funds available. Once there are enough DNA samples in our Airedale bank, we would be able to send our research investigators both types of DNA samples. This would give them a more complete picture of our breed's genetic blueprint, which could help the investigators find a treatment or test for our breed.

4.  Once I enter my animal's DNA and information in the Bank, will its personal information ever become public?


No. If a researcher has had success, he/she may publish a scientific paper, which may refer to animals by the researcher codes. The owner or the dog can never be identified. However, when the owner fills out the original paperwork for the Bank, they may permit a researcher to contact them or their veterinarian for further information on that animal. Also, from time to time, statistical analysis may be performed on the collected data (to detect trends, identify breed medical problems etc), and those results, without any personal identifiers will be displayed on the AHF website to improve the knowledge of Airedale owners.

 

5.  What could I expect to get from this anonymous statistical information that will be reported from a breed health survey or from the database in the DNA Bank?


A database can sort, track, and organize every piece of information. When the Bank has enough Airedale DNA and its accompanying data in the database, reports can be published. Those anonymous reports can identify trends for our owners on nutrition, vaccinations, environment, pesticides, phenotype, etc. and target how they might impact the health of our animals. Such information can be of immediate use for an owner. Examples of this might be:
1. a vaccination schedule or vaccines could be identified as possible triggers for the onset of one or many disorders
2. certain food-based diets could be commonly associated with allergies or multiple disorders
3. environmental conditions or pesticides could be implicated with the onset of one or more disorders
4. certain supplements may lower the levels of medication or might be used as a substitute for prescription medications
5. phenotypic data could be used by breeders to help them determine how to increase the probability that they can neutralize the development of undesirable traits or disorders

6.  What security measures have been put in place to protect the identity of the animal and the owner?


1. Each animal is assigned an Identification Code. That Identification Code will link all information about the owner and the animal. The DNA Bank is an independent facility and its personnel are not affiliated with any Airedale dog organization. The Identification Code and password are secured and only accessible by the veterinarian researcher at the Bank.

2. All DNA Samples, the accompanying pedigree, and any other documents pertaining to that animal or owner, will be released to a research facility with no identifying information other than the Identification Code which has been assigned to it.

7.  Why would I want to put my Airedale's DNA and data information into the DNA Bank?


1. Each Airedale has a genetic blueprint, which is a piece of the Airedale genetic puzzle, and researchers can use its DNA to map the Airedale genetic codes.
2. Collecting information on the Airedale breed's environment, nutrition, and vaccinations can reveal trends that could affect your Airedale's quality of life.


8.  Would there be any future monetary gain either to myself or the Foundation from the use of my animal's DNA?


No, neither the Foundation nor you would be entitled to any royalties that might result from the development of test or treatments. The Foundation's Airedale research investigations are funded through another non-profit, like the Morris Animal Foundation, or the university researchers, and their scientific advisory boards and grant boards make determinations on the quality of the research study. They would sign a contract allowing grant money to be funneled to an approved investigation. Investigating entities and universities sign contracts to benefit their principals and their organization.

9.  Can DNA be extracted from stored semen on deceased Airedales?


Yes, stud dogs that were used frequently or have had great influence in the breed would be ideal. Spent straws from frozen semen matings can be sent directly to the DNA bank after the implantation; there is no need for special preservation or refrigeration. In this way, the valuable DNA can be extracted without wasting any straws.  Please contact Michele Perloski at  Michele Perloski, Sample Coordinator, 617-714-7792, email:
dog-info@broadinstitute.org.

10.  Can non-ATCA or other breed club members donate their Airedale's DNA to the bank?


Yes, since the purpose of the bank is to house a large cross section that is representative of the breeds' DNA, all Airedale owners may participate by donating their dogs' DNA.

 

11.  Can Airedale owners from outside the USA donate their Airedale's DNA?

Yes. Sample submission to the Airedale DNA bank is open to all non-USA Airedales. Having as complete a DNA bank as possible will certainly make our breed very attractive to research investigators. For instructions on how to send in a sample from a country outside the US, please visit Michele Perloski, Sample Coordinator, 617-714-7792, email:  dog-info@broadinstitute.org


12.  Can I enter an Airedale who is not registered with any purebred registry?

Yes, as a very high percentage of these animals will be purebred Airedales and are valuable in our genetic mapping and data reports on environmental factors. The few that may not be, will be genetically identified and filtered out by a researcher as he works with their DNA sequences.  Please indicate that a pedigree is not available on the Consent Form.

 

13.  If I enter an Airedale into the bank, can I make changes to its information or my personal information at a later date?


Yes. Visit http://www.broadinstitute.org/scientific-community/science/projects/mammals-models/canine-health-update-forms to update your dog's health status.

14.  Who determines how and when the DNA is used in a research study?


Once enough samples are submitted on a particular disease, Broad Institute, through bi-annual e-newsletters, will let us know what projects are underway, or about to start, or are in need of more samples.   Communication between researchers who are involved with sample collections and the Airedale community at large will be strong.

     In the meantime, an annual update of an aggregate of results on the samples in the DNA bank will be submitted to key canine genetics researchers to keep them abreast of the types of samples available at the DNA bank. Researchers have access to the samples in the DNA Bank at all times. Along with the canine research community, the network with CHF, OFA, CHIC, and the Morris Animal Foundation allows many reviews by credentialed professionals to assess which research projects could also use the Airedale samples for study.

15.  If my animal is entered into a research investigation, will I receive information from the researcher?

Yes.  The core team of canine health researchers will be in contact with owners who have made submissions to the Airedale DNA BAnk - to keep owners abreast of research studies.  The researchers will also publish findings and needs in a bi-annual e-newsletter available to all Airedale owner.

16.  Can I submit data, but not DNA, on deceased dogs to add to the wealth of knowledge?


Yes, you may submit information on deceased dogs who do not have DNA banked at the Airedale DNA Library to:  Michele Perloski, Sample Coordinator, 617-714-7792, email: dog-info@broadinstitute.org.

17.  Can you give me more assurance that my Dog's Information will be confidential?

Informed Consent

The Airedale DNA Bank operates an informed consent database. All information regarding test results remain confidential unless the owner specifically authorizes release of the information into the public domain. While owners are encouraged to release all test results, realizing it is in the ultimate health interests of the breed and the information greatly increases the depth and breadth of any resulting pedigree analysis, it is up to the owner to release all test results. For those not quite ready to accept open sharing of information, there is still value in submitting their results. All test information entered into the database is available in aggregate for research and statistical reporting purposes, but does not disclose identification of individual dogs. This results in improved information on the prevalence of the disease, as well as information regarding progress in reducing the incidence of the disease.