How did the NBDPS collect information?


Cheek cells

The NBDPS team sent out small brushes to each family to collect cheek cells from biological mothers, fathers, and babies, when possible. These brushes were sent back to the NBDPS laboratory where they are stored securely without the family's name.

Genetic data

The cheek cells contain genes. Genes are part of long strands of cell material called DNA. Strands of DNA are found inside each of the cells of the body. Each gene on the DNA strand has special instructions that tell the cell what to do. For example, one gene might tell the cell how to make the chemicals that help us digest food. Investigators look at the cheek cells in the lab to see if there are differences in specific genes between the cases and controls.