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Until recently, it was impossible to access services such as genetic testing for sickle-cell anaemia, prenatal and neonatal testing, DNA fingerprinting and forensic research in Nigeria.
Now, a new facility at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) allows researchers to carry out genetic analysis with multiple benefits, ranging from disease prevention to agricultural research.
Geneticist Joy Irobi-Devolder, chief consultant to the LUTH Molecular Biology Research Laboratory, says that DNA technology is needed in Nigeria not only to improve medical research, but also to find new ways to boost agricultural yields. She believes that the untapped potential of genetically modified crops can bring economic and health advances to Nigeria.