Portland, OR -

It's not uncommon for politicians to request campaign donations. But Oregon's Republican chairman is asking for people's urine.

Along with being a failed congressional candidate and current head of the Oregon Republican Party, Art Robinson is a scientist. He hopes to collect thousands of samples to help researchers develop urine tests capable of detecting diseases years before symptoms arise.

Robinson has mailed his plea to all 42,000 addresses in Josephine County.

Human urine contains thousands of chemicals deposited by the body's cells. Robinson hopes to be able to look for patterns consistent in the urine samples of people who eventually develop a degenerative disease, such as cancer.

Early detection can allow doctors and patients to take preventive measures.