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Curious

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  • Vaccine adverse side effects: how do COVID-19 vaccines compare?

    17/03/2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This article is based on the information that is reported in a publicly available database compiled by the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), termed the Vaccination Adverse Events Reporting System. This database was set up approximately 30 years ago to allow anyone to report any side effect (whether adverse or non-adverse) suspected to be from taking a vaccination. The idea of the database is to be able to capture any worrisome events and allow rapid investigations of vaccine safety. We hope we have got your curiosity going enough to now check out what this database has shown so far for the different vaccines, and especially how that might compare to the new mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. The results are definitely captivating.


  • Could COVID-19 have actually originated many years ago?

    16/02/2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    In the summer of 2020, a curious hypothesis came out that perhaps COVID-19 actually emerged many years prior in China. This hypothesis was based on the fact that in 2012 six miners became severely ill with a mysterious inflammatory lung disease. Drs. Latham and Wilson proposed that SARS-CoV-2 could actually have evolved in the lungs of the miners that became ill after being infected with a bat virus. One major problem with this hypothesis was that there was no prior scientific evidence that human lung tissue could act as an environment that could drive the substantial mutational changes that would be required for adaptation of a bat virus to a human-infectious virus. However, thanks to the current pandemic taking place around the world, it appears that we finally have evidence that this indeed can happen.


  • Genetics of cheating

    08/02/2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    For the past couple of years, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, Merogenomics has posted articles dedicated to the genetics that concern romantic relationships. We started the trend with the genetics of sexuality, then last year we moved to the genetics of love, and we wanted to play a “dirty” joke by completing the trinity of relational aspects with a topic dedicated to… the genetics of cheating!


  • Most gossiped about genetic news of 2020

    21/01/2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    For a fifth year in a row, we review the most shared genetic stories on social. The only metric we look at is the highest number of shares for any content related to genetics. These are all over the board, from absurd to celebration of our greatest achievements, DNA-related stories that captured our imagination the most in 2020!


  • The new UK SARS-CoV-2 strain – a first science info analysis

    11/01/2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This story of a UK new SARS-CoV-2 strain exemplifies how rapidly the leaders are willing to respond to maintain the general safety of the populatio. How the decision was made to proclaim the emergence of this new threatening strain is not discussed in the media and very few have actually probed for its scientific merit. But are you curious, where did it come from? Very few people get to peak behind the curtains.


  • COVID-19 PCR tests – are we over-testing or under-testing? Who is right?

    06/12/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    There is a massive public debate going on about the COVID-19 pandemic threat. Wherever you might stand on the spectrum of this debate - whether you decry anytime someone dares to step outside into the fresh air, or you belittle the existence of this infection as nothing more significant than a bad flu – there is one argument used by either side that gets a lot of collateral damage: the use of PCR tests to diagnose the infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. So where do we really stand on these PCR tests? Which side might be right and which side is wrong? Let's look at the science behind these PCR tests! You just might be surprised by what you find out.


  • Fake viruses? SARS-CoV-2 origins conspiracy theories Part 3

    21/10/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The last two blog posts we have dedicated to going over a controversial, non-peer reviewed online report outlining reasons why the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been of natural origin. The authors promised to follow up that initial report with further proof of why a number of published coronavirus genomes from different animals are fake. We were really curious what kind of evidence they would propose to build their case to claim an academic fraud of such massive proportion, and this is what this post is about.


  • SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus origins alternative theories – do they hold up against science? Part 2

    10/10/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This is the second post of a two part series dedicated to analyzing the conspiracy theories regarding the SARS-CoV-2 origins that are different from the widely accepted “natural origin”, where we offer a contradictory, equally controversial viewpoint to a synthetic origin theory, and review the authors’ “smoking gun” evidence of why the SARS-CoV-2 was engineered.


  • SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus origins alternative theories – do they hold up against science? Part 1

    28/09/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Earlier this month a deeply controversial and outright shocking report came out purporting to provide smoking gun evidence that SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was laboratory engineered. With a title like "Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route" this report promised to have some incriminating statements so obviously we were going to investigate it, and see how the published science stacked against their claims.


  • What is genetic mosaicism?

    15/09/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    In this post we will discuss what might seem like an obscure topic but is a very real-life issue: being composed of more than one genome. Or in other words, situations where an individual carries two different types of genetic information in the cells of their body. This is especially significant for those who are interested in prenatal DNA testing.


  • Hearing loss DNA testing

    08/08/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    In this post we wanted to recount the story of a family with children that presented with hearing loss with no prior family history. It turned out to be very unique account of unsuspected genetics - a paradigm that will continue to happen with greater frequency as more people chose to analyze their DNA. This story demonstrates the potential power of proactive screening of one’s genetic state, and even hints at when it might become a necessity with regards to planning a family.


  • Human genome project twenty years later

    26/06/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    On this day (June 26th) in 2000, the completion of a working draft of the human genome reference was announced by President Bill Clinton. Today you can sequence your entire genome in mere hours but the very first human genome sequence that was decoded was an enormous undertaking of thousands of scientists from around the world in a project spanning more than a decade and at an estimated cost of $3 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money! And like any good story, there always has to be some controversy.


  • Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

    25/04/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    We naturally build antibodies against infectious agents that we come into contact with. Thus if someone gets infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus then they will produce antibodies against it. But now imagine, it would be pretty handy if you could have access to such antibodies without the need of infection. So how do we get our hands on such antibodies that we could use for treatment?


  • Options for prevention of COVID-19, options for treatment of COVID-19. What does research find?

    07/04/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Perhaps this article is massively overdue. It is in fact a continuation of what we touched upon in our very first foray into studying the structure of SARS-CoV-2, when we mentioned one study which looked into potential compounds that could inhibit viral infection. The need for this story has since massively expanded, so in this post we will take you so deep that we peer into atomic structures and traverse the landscapes of biological molecules and list some our favourite chemicals that we found that might have protective capabilities against COVID-19!


  • COVID-19 coronavirus and ethnicity differences

    20/03/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    One of the more compelling questions that has been asked around with regards to the Wuhan coronavirus is whether it infects different ethnic groups to a different extent. One paper was published recently that attempted to answer that question, and showed that indeed there could be racial differences for coronavirus infection based on what type of genetic mutations different populations might have. So let’s break it down.


  • Wuhan corona virus uniqueness – what does science say?

    09/03/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has not been conclusively demonstrated. Meaning we do not know how it started to infect humans. There has been a tremendous amount of confusion and rumours with regards to whether this virus was human engineered rather than originating from nature. So let’s pose the nasty question: could the virus be synthesized by humans? To answer this we will dive deep into current scientific understanding of the architecture of this virus, and find out what makes SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus unique enough to have stirred so many controversies so quickly.


  • Genetics of love

    09/02/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Could love be genetically driven? There seem to be strong arguments that say yes. The components of adult romantic love are actually similar to the intense love between parents and infants. It has been proposed that the already existing design used for offspring caring might have been evolutionarily adopted for use between the mates. There is support for the notion that romantic love and parental offspring bonding share a biological signature, including genetic footprint underpinning it.


  • Most gossiped about genetic news of 2019

    12/01/2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    It is that time of the year again where we continue our tradition of looking at some of the most frequently shared articles on social media relating to DNA and genetics. These vignettes are in stark contrast to the typical information shared on the Merogenomics blog which is carefully vetted for scientific accuracy - but just as entertaining to read. Also unlike the typical content of the Merogenomics blog, the content produced for social media’s viral output can at times be absolutely outrageous!


  • Alberta Health Services genetic testing 2019 overview

    06/11/2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The world of genetics and genomics is vast both in private access to medical genetics as well as public. But how vast is it here in Alberta? We catalogued all of the different tests available in the Alberta Health Care Genetics and Genomics program.


  • Can anti-aging be programmed?

    11/04/2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The maximum lifespan of a given species, along with its particular aging process, is believed to be rooted in genetics. With the introduction of technologies that allow for the decoding of entire human genomes, it is no surprise that anti-aging research is currently exploding. If aging is built-in into our DNA program, then without a doubt the most controversial approach to anti-aging would be to remove the program from our DNA. Is that even feasible?


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