The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in partnership with Kailos Genetics, is offering genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes as well as a set of genes known to predict possible disease risk. This initiative, called “Information is Power,” is in response to the challenge given by Dr. Mary-Claire King at last year’s Tie the Ribbons event for Huntsville/Madison County to be the first community to offer this type of testing for women who are 30 years old regardless of family history. Dr. King is the scientist who first discovered the BRCA1 gene that predicts hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and was the speaker at Tie the Ribbons last November. Dr. Richard Myers, President and Science Director of HudsonAlpha wants Huntsville and Madison County to be the most genetically informed community in the country and was eager to accept Dr.King’s challenge. HudsonAlpha and associate company Kailos Genetics will offer genetic testing free of charge for women in Madison County who are 30 years of age. Myers said, “The gift of knowledge about your health is the best birthday present you could ever get.” The free test kits will be available for one year beginning on October 29, 2015, when the first test kits will be given out at the Tie the Ribbons event. In addition, free test kits can be acquired from Kailos Genetics starting October 30 by going to their website. Participants must be born between October 30, 1984 and October 28, 1986. Because HudsonAlpha believes “Information is Power” should be for everyone, not just women who are age 30, genetic testing will also be available for both men and women who are 19 and older and live in Madison County as well as Jackson, Limestone, Marshall and Morgan counties. The test kits can be purchased for a discounted fee of $99 and will be available for the first time at the Tie the Ribbons event on October 29. After that, kits can be ordered online through Kailos Genetics. Brian Pollock, CEO of Kailos said, “We are delighted to partner with HudsonAlpha to answer Dr. King’s challenge and provide what could be life-saving information to women in the Huntsville/Madison County community.” The HudsonAlpha Foundation has committed to provide this free genetic testing for one year for women who are 30 years of age and reside in Madison County. To ensure that all women who want to access this test will be able to, the HudsonAlpha Foundation needs your help. Please consider making a charitable gift to support this initiative. Any funds not needed for the tests will be dedicated to breast and ovarian cancer research at HudsonAlpha. Your support can provide potentially life-saving information for the mothers, daughters, wives and sisters in this community.