The CHIC Challenge is ASHGI’s annual campaign to encourage participation in OFA’s Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) DNA Bank.
This OFA program is a long-term sample storage program for research. DNA samples from dogs are coupled with demographic and health information that allows qualified researchers to select samples that can be of value to their canine health research. The more samples a breed has in the database the more likely that breed will benefit from important research. The repository can also prevent the tragic circumstance of a sample from a key dog not being available when a research study is established because that dog died before it happened.
Blood vs. cheek swabs
OFA accepts both cheek swab and blood samples but ASHGI strongly recommends that you submit blood. Swabs contain a limited amount of DNA and are readily subject to contamination or other mishandling either at time of collection or during shhipment. The “shelf life” of swabs is also limited – about 10 years at most. Blood provides almost limitless high-quality DNA that can be stored indefinately and is only minimally prone to mishandling problems, the most common being delays in shipment.