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Hello and happy Universal Human Rights Month!
December is a month dedicated to many celebrations related to world peace and human achievements and in fact, it is the month of the Nobel Prize ceremonies which were first started on December 10, 1901, with the king of Sweden distributing the prizes decided upon by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The very first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given to Emil von Behrin for his work on serum therapy in the treatment of diphtheria and the very first Nobel Prize in Physics went to Wilhelm Röentgen for his discovery of X-rays which as we are all aware, are instrumental in medicine to this day.
On December 11, 1911, Polish-born Marie Sklodowska Curie became the first person to be awarded a second Nobel prize - it recognized her individual achievements in Chemistry - whereas her first prize (in 1903) was a collaborative effort in Physics for the discovery of radium (in December 1898) and polonium elements which, by the way, made her the first woman in history to receive the Nobel Prize! Only four people have ever received two Nobel Prizes, including Frederick Sanger who won one prize in 1958 for determining the structure of insulin protein and then another in 1980 for developing the DNA sequencing method bearing his name, that is still used to this day (although it is now greatly overshadowed by the next-generation sequencing).
In case you missed it, the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to Drs William Kaelin Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt genetically to changing oxygen levels.
Each month in our newsletter we recount interesting historical facts relating to Charles Darwin for that particular month. On December 27, 1831, Charles Darwin set sail aboard the British Navy ship HMS Beagle for a voyage of both scientific documentation and collection of specimens which would crystallize his theory of evolution through natural selection. The ship sailed to the southern coast of South America to complete a government survey and Darwin, at age 22 and just out of university, secured an unpaid position as the ship's naturalist. Originally planned to be at sea for only two years, the ship actually travelled the world with stops in Brazil, the Galapogos Islands, and New Zealand for five years in total. We shall continue covering this voyage in future newsletters.
Short educational video
In this first video Merogenomics gives a short explanation for what was behind the original concept of the CRISPR/Cas9 DNA editing technology (recently discussed in depth in our blog and presented to government personnel) which will better help to explain this vital technology.
The second video is a gorgeous short video from a TED talk about the amazing achievements of Marie Sklodawska Curie.
If you have any follow up information, questions or ideas about what you would like to see in future videos, please let us know. Enjoy.
The first article is a fascinating look at what kind of security breaches can occur with unsecured access to anyone's DNA and how can we protect ourselves from it.
The second piece is a look at the latest evolution (we couldn't help ourselves but to use that word!) of CRISPR technology in the flourishing field of genetic editing that is rapidly captivating the world! The newest achievements are simply mind boggling! Read on to find out more!
November was an eventful month. At the start of the month Merogenomics launched its Youtube channel and we are still waiting to celebrate our first modest successes! We know it will take time, just like the impact of Merogenomics site and the blog but we are happy to announce that our blog is starting to get some traction with more than one person now subscribing on a daily basis (approximately 1.2 to be exact).
On November 23, while in Calgary, Dr. Raszek had an opportunity to continue learning more about the Private Health Services Plan information from a local expert, Luene La Fountaine. Remember, PHSP includes a Health Spending Account or a Cost Plus Plan if you are a business owner and DNA testing is then a covered medical expense! This means that you can enjoy genome sequencing benefits all paid for through your company and then deducted as a business expense from your company - 100% Tax Free - provided there is a medically necessary indication for testing. The best approach is to chart your family medical history to determine if there is an indication for testing due to pattern of observed health problems. Please inquire with us for tools on how to chart your family history.
On November 25, Dr. Raszek had an opportunity to present on the topic of genetic editing and the current medical utility of DNA testing to a group of approximately 20 criminal justice professionals with some lively discussions that followed (including, not surprisingly, forensic DNA use). Such personal presentations are always very rewarding!
That presentation was followed by a special fundraising event hosted by the Riverview Rotary Club later the same week on Polio virus eradication efforts. It was fascinating to hear the other presentations, including one about the history of the international efforts of Rotary clubs all over the world in helping in the final stages in eliminating yet another terrible disease plaguing humanity. It was also an honor to meet a member of the Ugandan parliament the Hon. Naggayi Nabilah Sempala who has also started the Arms Around Africa Foundation, an organization dedicated to help disadvantaged youth and women across the continent.
We are very proud to announce that at the start of December, Edmonton was visited by one of the premier DNA test service providers (that Merogenomics endorses) who held discussions related to promoting hereditary cancer predisposition testing. This is an excellent reminder that Merogenomics can aid you in gaining access to world leading DNA sequencing screening tests in the area of cancer predisposition, a service we are very proud of to bring to those in need of this service who might otherwise struggle with access.
Merogenomics can assist you with background education, test selection, understanding of informed consent and any test purchases. Email Merogenomics to book your free consultation or call at 780-665-5336.
There are no upcoming talks over the holiday seasons. Instead, we will wish you a wonderful holiday to enjoy with those you love or doing the things that you love! Oh. Would that be looking over genetic information?! You know who would be excited about that! :)
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