MISSOULA- A new research program is asking citizens for a swab of their DNA to help researchers study how the environment and lifestyles can affect health.
The National Health Institute’s program is embarking on a cross-country tour. They’re looking for 1 million DNA samples.
"Researchers can go through this data and look at how lifestyle, environment, and genetics affect our health,” said tour manager, Angie Gonzalez.
The process takes just three steps - online enrollment, a survey, and a 15 minute physical exam.
Researchers say collecting data from places like Montana is crucial to its success.
"We selected Montana specifically because of the rural nature of the community and to make sure that folks that are in more rural settings are included in the data sets as well, and not just big urban areas,” said the American Association on Health and Disability Director Karl Cooper.
Researchers say this program will help make medical care more personal, and collecting data from Montana will only broaden the research.
"People in a place like Missoula are going to have different health factors than someone who lives in New York City, and all of that information is valuable,” added tour manager, Angie Gonzalez.
The tour bus will be at Caras park Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.