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  • Beyond ancestry: using genome sequencing for genealogy and family history

    26 / 02 / 2024
    Posted by:

    Anonymous


    In this post, we look into the two primary benefits of DNA testing that people generally identify with: uncovering one’s ancestral links and health-related information.


  • Pregnancy with autoimmune diseases: navigating health and fertility

    14 / 02 / 2024
    Posted by:

    A.Whyte


    Discover how to navigate pregnancy while managing an autoimmune disease. This article offers guidance and hope for those navigating this complex journey.


  • Most gossiped about genetic news of 2023

    30 / 01 / 2024
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    We go over the most shared online stories related to DNA, genetics, and COVID-19 and present to you the top 10 list. As always, wild stories abound.


  • How do genes really affect how you gain weight—and what can you do about it?

    07 / 01 / 2024
    Posted by:

    M.White


    In this brief article we look at how genetics could affect your weight in an ongoing weight gain epidemic and what are some available solutions.


  • IgG4 update from Dr. Bossche

    25 / 11 / 2023
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Dr. Geert vanden Bossche is currently the only expert we know of who dares to predict the ending to the current pandemic (warning, it ain’t pretty). How do the IgG4 antibodies seen in mRNA vaccinated fit into all of this?


  • The mysterious role of IgG4 antibodies in autoimmune conditions

    25 / 10 / 2023
    Posted by:

    A.Whyte


    What are IgG4 antibodies? Here is the basic intro of what we have known about these mysterious antibodies in immune conditions.


  • Iodine, fluoride and what? Autism?!

    30 / 09 / 2023
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Iodine is necessary for proper brain development. However, fluoride exposure could impede proper iodine uptake and potentially affect the brain. Could fluoride exposure be responsible for the rise in autism we have been witnessing worldwide in the last few decades?


  • Is it all because of vagus nerve damage?

    28 / 08 / 2023
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    We explore how the vagus nerve could be a crucial component of understanding COVID-19, how it is linked to the immune system and how it might be considered in the treatment of post spike protein injury.


  • Help for mRNA vaccinated – protecting the innate immune system

    26 / 07 / 2023
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This post is specifically for mRNA vaccinated individuals seeking help to understand how their immune system might be acting differently than expected (with a focus on IgG4 antibodies), and how the innate immune system could be protected.


  • Can fasting remove our “bad” antibodies?

    29 / 06 / 2023
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    We explore the available science to see if fasting can be used to remove unwanted antibodies from our body, such as the IgG4 antibodies observed to be notably increased in some of the mRNA vaccinees.


  • Is triple DNA helix possible?

    31 / 05 / 2023
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Can a triple helix DNA exist in biology besides in our imagination of alien creatures? We delve into the concept of how such structures could be formed and how they could be advantageous.


  • Review of Dr. Bossche’s book – the final countdown to The Inescapable Immune Escape Pandemic

    25 / 04 / 2023
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche’s new book, The Inescapable Immune Escape Pandemic , is reviewed. See how he makes predictions of the impending but catastrophic end to the pandemic.


  • Most gossiped about genetic news of 2022

    01 / 02 / 2023
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    A compilation of the most shared genetic stories of 2022 sorted by what fascinated the public the most - as always, ranging from super cool to super absurd.


  • Clotting review – why and how?

    24 / 12 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Clotting is capturing attention as a frequent complication associated with COVID-19. This post reviews the basics of: how clotting happens; how it is dissolved; what problems it may cause; and how is it treated.


  • Immune inflammation - helpful until it's not

    28 / 11 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Inflammation is very familiar to us and we know it can be bad. But how and why does it exist in the first place? In this post we explain inflammation as an innate immunity defensive mechanism and also how it can be a double-edged sword. Plus, how to stay on top of it.


  • Pseudouridines of mRNA vaccines

    26 / 10 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    In this post, we talk about the mystery behind why the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines had to be chemically manipulated to achieve their success and what this chemical alteration consisted of, and then we ask questions about what it means for any further potential biological impacts because so many gaps in the knowledge of this new technology need to be filled.


  • Endometriosis genetics and the immune system

    29 / 09 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    We review the intricate genetics of the immune system that could contribute to the development of endometriosis including the different stages of progression as well as factors that might protect against the disease development. This article highlights how complex conditions such as endometriosis can have complex genetic contributions involved in its development.


  • How antibodies drive viral evolution - Dr. Bossche’s theories continued

    28 / 08 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Predictions of outcomes for the ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 are scarce. One notable exception is Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche who early on warned that mass vaccination during a pandemic would have dire consequences on the population immunity. Here Merogenomics provides a simple graphical chart along with detailed explanations of his thoughts on the complex interplay between viral infection and the effect on the immune system in vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals.


  • Could GC content of mRNA vaccines affect cancer through potential G-quadruplexes?

    25 / 07 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    A very unusual potential pathway to cancer development has been proposed from mRNA vaccines (but so far completely unconfirmed). It involves the vaccine’s mRNA independently adopting a certain 3D shape that is different from the expected 3D shape of a SARS-CoV-2 RNA that codes for production of the spike protein. This different 3D shape of the vaccine’s mRNA would then lead to an unexpected binding of cellular proteins and RNA, removing them from their native function. If this interference of normal function became great enough, it would have the potential to promote cancer development.


  • Mitochondrial donation - rescuing maternal-only DNA

    22 / 06 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek and Dr.R.Della-Bosca


    Mitochondrial donation is an emerging reproductive technology applicable to women who suffer from mitochondrial disease. In this blog, we firstly summarize what mitochondrial donation is and how it is being regulated. Secondly, we explore ethical issues that arise beyond the scope of traditional artificial reproductive technologies as a result of the unique features of mitochondrial donation.


  • How to protect patients from medical malpractice

    22 / 05 / 2022
    Posted by:

    K. Moore


    There's no doubt that doctors are some of the most highly respected and well-paid professionals in the world. And with that comes a great deal of responsibility, which is why it’s so important for doctors to take steps to protect their patients from medical malpractice and negligence. This article will discuss some of the best steps doctors can take to avoid accidentally falling into such a trap.


  • The future of the pandemic according to Dr. Bossche

    19 / 04 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The Omicron appears to have become one of the most infectious viruses we ever had to contend with - the exact opposite trend of what we wanted to accomplish during the management of the pandemic, which was to dramatically decrease the transmission of the virus in the population. But no one is asking why this has happened? For this reason, we were highly interested in Dr. Bossche’s latest blog post pertaining to why the Omicron is both more infectious and milder in nature than previous variants, and how this development could be leading to the future progression of the pandemic.


  • COVID-19 vaccine exosomes and interferon cytokine disturbance

    28 / 03 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    In this article, we are going to look at one proposed mechanism of how vaccine mRNA could be negatively affecting immune response in certain individuals through exosomes.


  • Post vaccination menstrual cycle analysis

    27 / 02 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Recently Merogenomics has published a video on a scientific investigation into whether vaccines might be influencing the menstrual cycle and/or the duration of menses. What followed was hundreds of comments on what so many women have experienced, and who described their extreme experiences in detail. We decided to present it in a graphical format, at least until we see a proper scientific analysis of these extreme outcomes being reported!


  • Mandate exemptions doctors’ guide

    23 / 01 / 2022
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    There is a small unvaccinated minority of people who already have to contend with certain added health difficulties on account of their existing health problems. Here we propose some exemption criteria that should be strongly considered in specific situations expressed to doctors by patients expressing their understandable fear of the risks of accidentally worsening their already existing disabilities by unusual vaccine adverse event.


  • Improving diagnostic rates of genetic testing - ASHG 2021 highlights in clinical genomics

    12 / 01 / 2022
    Posted by:

    K.Shinde and N.Wynne


    The field of medicine is working hard to keep up with advances in genome sequencing technologies but remains far behind due to difficulty in implementing some of the new, unfamiliar, and expensive protocols. Here we have focused on recent research and developments in clinical genomics, intending to highlight some of the progress being made towards optimization and large-scale implementation of genome sequencing in clinical settings.


  • Most gossiped about genetic news of 2021

    21 / 12 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    At the end of every year we like to see what online articles tied to DNA have captured the most attention, and we rank the top 10. One consistent theme is that typically these will be the stories with the most emotionally gripping content of the past year! So, what did we find this year?


  • Omicron mutations – battle of the predictions

    13 / 12 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    We struggled to find a good summary of the Omicron mutations especially as to why the authorities were so concerned about originally. So, we did bit of our own research. This post looks at different predictive models of what might be expected from the Omicron, and the possibility that Omicron could be an early example of immune escape from vaccines.


  • Supernumerary marker chromosomes – what they are, frequency and implications in newborns

    25 / 11 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This post is about possible unusual findings in a human genome of a presence of what is referred to as supernumerary marker chromosome - an independent fragment of a chromosome derived from any of our naturally occurring chromosomes. In essence, a person ends up having an additional tiny chromosome, and the clinical consequences of this can be quite varied.


  • Big themes in medical genomics - ASHG2021 overview

    18 / 11 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    In this post we summarize what Merogenomics perceived as the biggest themes in current medical genomics from the the latest conference put on by the American Society of Human Genetics. We also mention what themes are emerging, what is the usual information and what did not get as much attention as we might have expected.


  • Genes with medical intervention – ACMG v.3.0 guidelines

    27 / 10 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This list of genes is extremely valuable for any doctor dealing with medical genomics as it consists of genes not only vetted for their association to a condition, but these are also genes where a medical actionability is available to the doctors. In this context, actionability refers to available medical intervention as defined by current standards of care.


  • Future of Next Generation Sequencing for life sciences 2021

    16 / 10 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Technology is not waiting for clinical practice to adjust itself to what is already available to doctors - the research is always continuously evolving to deliver ever increasing benefits.

    Future of Next Generation Sequencing 2021 virtual summit review.


  • “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence” - a Merogenomics’ NIH grant review

    05 / 10 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Two NIH grants that funded the work in Wuhanwere finally made publicly available. They were not provided voluntarily though. It is the Intercept that finally provided access to these two NIH grants, not any public agency. And they had to sue the NIH to get access to their Freedom Of Information Act request for these “public” documents and they are staggering! The type of research done is what we describe as crazy dangerous! 


  • The human genome finally completed!

    27 / 09 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Wait! What? The human genome was not fully decoded already? That’s right, even though the Human Genome Project exhibited the first maps of the human genome in 2000, and announced it as complete in 2003 – a small fraction of the human genome was never resolved due to technological limitations. But the day has finally arrived!


  • How new emerging variants are outsmarting our antibodies

    07 / 09 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    One very strong candidate for the evasion of antibodies, including those of vaccines, that you might have heard about, is the Lambda variant. We wanted to drill in a bit deeper here to show you on a molecular level how cleverly the virus has mutated to start escaping the antibodies specifically mounted against the viral spike protein. And also how viruses could potentially take advantage of antibodies to infect more cells.


  • How the immune system fights viruses like coronaviruses

    24 / 08 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This article was inspired by what we consider to be the best illustration of overall immune system functions that we have seen. More specifically, the illustration concerns the immune system reaction to a viral infection by enveloped viruses such as coronaviruses.


  • Mental health and pharmacogenetic DNA testing

    11 / 08 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This post is a dramatic recounting of a mental health patient who used clinical pharmacogenetic DNA testing to improve their situation. This story has turned out to surpass our expectations in how much this individual was helped! Not only were we able to identify that a medication this person was on had an important personal use warning based on that patient’s genetics, but also another massive change took place for the benefit of this patient afterwards.


  • Immune escape – Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche explained

    27 / 07 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This post examines the theories of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche about virus immune escape. And specifically, his claims that mass vaccinations will potentially help develop immune escape variants of SARS Co-V-2 and why this could be very dangerous to everybody.


  • Pharmacogenetics evidence levels

    17 / 07 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics is the study of how our genes impact the medications we take. Each one of us is programmed by having a variety of different mutations in our genes that influence how medications are processed by our body, and this information can be collected and then examined to help determine how medications should be dosed to best match how we metabolize (break down within our body) the medications we use, or even help avoid taking medication altogether because it could be toxic to us. Here we describe how the levels of evidence for pharmacogenetics are established.


  • Lab leak theory vs natural origin of SARS-CoV-2 – why past conflicts of interest might be driving the current debate

    26 / 06 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    After a year long campaign of ridiculing and silencing any public suggestion that SARS-CoV-2 virus could have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory, suddenly the media is very open to entertaining this notion. This is such a strange tale of how public perception is shaped by prevailing propaganda, but what we can say with high certainty is that the public’s perception in the US of the virus’ origin has so far been shaped by two figures with a staggering conflict of interest: Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Peter Daszak.


  • Top list of patient signs for doctors to use DNA testing

    09 / 06 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This post is to inform doctors who are starting to realize the value of medical DNA testing and to inform them about the best indications that DNA testing should be strongly considered. DNA tests are selected for patients as a possibility to obtain a clearer clinical picture.


  • Genetic mutations that can cause Polycystic Kidney Disease

    22 / 05 / 2021
    Posted by:

    J.Hart and Dr.M.Raszek


    Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder that can affect the kidneys. It causes cysts in the organs and makes them swell up, which over time could lead to renal failure if untreated. Polycystic kidney disease can be caused by mutations to different genes, some of which will be discussed in this post.


  • COVID-19 and genetic predisposition

    07 / 05 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Everyone in the world probably knows by now that if someone gets infected by SARS-CoV-2 virus, the resulting impact can range from a complete lack of symptoms to severe respiratory failure leading to death. Obviously, one possible contributing factor that would be worth investigating is the role of our personal genetics. So, what have we learned so far?


  • Clinical DNA testing options selection guide

    24 / 04 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This post explains the different DNA testing options available to patients/consumers who seek to discover potential genetic causes of an already existing condition. The testing also applies to a person who wants to screen before any clinical symptoms of a condition become apparent.


  • Cytomegalovirus fetus infection and pregnancy outcomes

    10 / 04 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    With all the attention of the COVID-19 causing virus (SARS-CoV-2), we have been bumping into lots of literature related to viruses in general and one virus in particular grabbed our attention as it has been reported to be the leading cause of birth defects in newborns worldwide. The virus of interest is the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) which belongs in the herpes viruses family.


  • How pharmacogenomic classification of tumors is driving forward precision cancer therapy

    21 / 03 / 2021
    Posted by:

    D. Hernandez


    Anticancer drug therapy, widely known as chemotherapy, uses medication to kill or slow down cancer cell growth. However, its effectiveness has huge fluctuations between individuals. The outcomes in some people are promising, while the same anticancer drug might have little to no effect in others with the same classification of tumor. The unpredictability of anticancer therapy outcomes is due to the diversity of genetic backgrounds of each patient. This is where precision oncology comes in. Defining a genetic characterization for individual tumors and how they will respond to anticancer drugs is key in guiding optimal patient tailored therapy on a case-by-case basis.


  • 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.


  • Caring for caregivers, the Alberta way!

    26 / 02 / 2021
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    There are 1 million caregivers in Alberta! That means the non-paid, non-professional people often are working, are raising children, have their own lives while taking on this additional role to help someone else live, people with disabilities, with health challenges and with aging-related needs. A lot of the caregiving role leads to emotional burnout. Caregivers Alberta was created by caregivers to support caregivers, working with clients on increasing their resiliency and their ability to bounce back from stressful situations and crises.


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

    15 / 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

    07 / 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

    20 / 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 mRNA vaccines – what does the initial data show?

    25 / 12 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This article does not have an agenda to support vaccination program or vilify it. Meaning Merogenomics is not married to a camp of anti-vaxxers, or those who think everyone should be vaccinated (because not everyone is actually eligible to be vaccinated), and the purpose is to produce an article that looks at data to see how many questions of interest can be answered. Look at the image above to see what we attempted to answer. Benefits and limitations of these novel mRNA vaccines.


  • 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.


  • Autism spectrum disorders and DNA testing

    22 / 11 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Everyone knows how the incidence of autism has been on a constant rise over the years (currently approximately one in 54 children in the US and one in 66 in Canada). But what is not broadly understood in the general public is that genetics play a massive contribution in autism spectrum disorders. In turn, it is also not widely known that identifying the genetic factors in an affected autistic individual can help to more specifically discriminate the condition.


  • Progress in the world of medical genetics 2020

    06 / 11 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    There were many great themes emerging from the 2020 American Society of Human Genetics conference. The biggest take home message is that medical genetics continues to grow at an enormously rapid pace, with consistently more patients all over the world having their DNA sequence decoded to help with their medical management and to help discover novel causes of the conditions affecting them - from rare diseases to more common health issues such as breast cancer or hyperlipidemia. Even really complex traits like infertility are being probed for influencing genetic factors. No condition escapes the microscope and some completely new diseases are described as well. It is becoming clear that medicine will be dramatically reshaped. Read on to find out why.


  • 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?

    14 / 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.


  • Pharmacogenetics DNA test best use

    31 / 08 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Traditionally medicines have been developed to target entire populations. However, patient’s individual biological influences can dramatically shift drug effectiveness in comparison to just the population average. For this reason medication efficacy can actually be astonishingly low for any given person - far lower than people probably realize. We now have the means to start probing this information of how to properly match medications to an individual. It is based on a person’s genetics especially the specific mutations in a person’s DNA code that can result in differences in how we biologically react to a specific medication. This is referred to as pharmacogenetics.


  • Hearing loss DNA testing

    07 / 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.


  • Variants of Unknown Significance (VUS) – doctors beware!

    26 / 07 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    We start with the story of a cancer survivor who just recently completed an advanced DNA/RNA sequencing combo test for cancer predisposition; it was not only the very first time this test was used in Canada, it was the first time it was used anywhere in the world outside of US. This test is so new that we were a little bit jealous that the patient would end up seeing the DNA testing kit even before Merogenomics had the chance to analyze one!


  • DNA testing for cancer patients

    13 / 07 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Last month we published a post on DNA testing for cancer predisposition and had an accompanying video on the types of DNA tests that are available for those people either afflicted with cancer or that have a family history of cancer. This month we wanted to focus on those tests available to cancer patients, as mentioned in our video. We’ll start by explaining how cancer patients can benefit from DNA testing.


  • 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.


  • Cancer predisposition DNA testing options

    08 / 06 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This article is for anyone who is interested in learning about their potential genetic cancer predisposition that might have contributed to the onset of an existing or prior condition, or for those who have not developed cancer yet, but are worried they might be predisposed due to family history, and what DNA testing options might be available to them.


  • Benefits of clinics using medical DNA testing

    25 / 05 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    There are many reasons why medical clinics should considering adopting DNA testing to benefit their patients. The vast majority of doctors are already aware that DNA testing has had a huge impact in helping patients. But the problem is that many doctors are not familiar enough with this technology and how to best implement it in their practice. Here are the top benefits to consider in overcoming these barriers.


  • 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

    19 / 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?

    08 / 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.


  • Can you hear the music?

    29 / 02 / 2020
    Posted by:

    C.Degenhardt


    To commemorate international Rare Disease Day 2020, we have a story of two boys growing up together, one with a rare disease, one without. A story that teaches us to appreciate the beauty that is gifted to us sometimes in most unexpected manner.


  • 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.


  • Human genome DNA test costs – how low can you go?

    29 / 01 / 2020
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    If you are looking at decoding your own genome, there are a plethora of options available to you and if you start doing your research (as we would hope you would!), you will soon discover a very wide range of genetic testing cost options. In fact, so wide, it will be at least a factor of 10! So what gives? What is the appropriate price for decoding your genome?


  • 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!


  • Genetic editing legacy – update on the first designer babies

    31 / 12 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The creator of first live-birth designer babies was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday. It has been just over a year since the news of the world’s first genetically designed babies was announced in China. A young, very well-connected and aspiring scientist who was not only interested in the accepted genetic editing methods but was also seemingly hiding a secret - that he had produced the first genetically engineered embryos used to give birth to live children! It shocked the world and then condemnations swiftly followed. We explore was done wrong.


  • Latest genetic editing – targeting anything anywhere

    06 / 12 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Since its discovery, a massive amount of research (and money) has gone into CRISPR/Cas9 technology to modify it for the needs of research and clinical use. In the latest and most advanced rendition of CRISPR technology, the molecular machinery can now find a desired target and deliver any type of DNA change desired without the need of introducing double-stranded DNA breaks (breaking the DNA apart essentially) or without using a DNA template to produce the change. The leap forward is simply mind boggling.


  • DNA data security

    30 / 11 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    When it comes to assessing personal DNA (whether for medical or entertainment purposes), the most common worry people appear to have is the lack of privacy protection around such personal information. DNA data can provide a wealth of information about an individual including the ability to discover the identity of an individual thanks to the public’s massive, indiscriminate, voluntary sharing of their DNA data. The ultimate goal is to control access to an individual’s genetic information and prevent unauthorized access in any way, by anyone! Read on to find out how DNA data might be abused and how it should be protected.


  • 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.


  • How can birth defects be prevented?

    28 / 10 / 2019
    Posted by:

    J.Phillips


    Birth defects continue to be a major challenge in Canadian health care, affecting 3-5% of newborns, and the impact of these birth defects on the levels of infant mortality and childhood morbidity are profound. Although it is unlikely that we will ever be able to prevent birth defects entirely, research tells us that there are still many ways in which we can reduce the risk of our children having a birth defect.


  • Birth defects

    10 / 10 / 2019
    Posted by:

    J.Phillips


    Birth defects are disabilities and disorders that are present in an infant from the time of their birth. They affect approximately 1 in 25 newborns each year. 1 in 5 newborn deaths result from birth defects primarily due to defects of the heart, lungs, brain, and contribution of genetics. Since birth defects have such a profound impact on both the lives of families and society as a whole, it makes sense that a lot of effort is focused on treatment and prevention.


  • Will humans alter our species?

    29 / 09 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Not long ago the full genome of a humpback whale was decoded. The decoding of the humpback whale DNA was significant - it provided some clues on why whales have extraordinarily low rates of cancer. The big question that comes to mind is, can we use this understanding to our advantage? Could we use what we learn from nature to purposefully alter our own genomes to enhance our health?


  • Childbirth pharmacogenetics

    09 / 09 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Part of modern medicine’s benefit in the childbirth process is the array of medications available to a mother during labour (depending on her requirements). A client of Merogenomics who has undergone full genome sequencing, later became pregnant and wondered if her collected DNA data could be used in relation to any medications that might be provided to her during the childbirth process. In other words, is there any evidence that person’s DNA could be used to specifically personalize prescriptions and the dosing of drugs used during childbirth?


  • 23andMe health reports - how accurate are they? 23andMe review part 2

    29 / 08 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This is a second article of two dedicated to reviewing 23andMe DNA based health reports. We continue the 23andMe review with what impresses us about their process, what does not, and where should medical doctors stand when it comes to 23andMe results.


  • 23andMe health reports - how accurate are they? 23andMe review part 1

    19 / 08 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The 23andM test is currently one of the most famous DNA tests in the world and one of the most purchased ones. It was originally started to ascertain ancestry information. Now 23andMe can also offer health and wellness related information based on personalized genetic information testing. The health related portion of 23andMe tests can be divided into three components. The first one is wellness information which includes still experimental information related to weight, sleep patterns, certain dietary concerns, etc. The second and third health related components of 23andMe tests are referred to as “Health reports” and are the primary reason and focus of this two-part 23andMe review: they are the “Carrier Status” and “Genetic Health Risk” reports.


  • DNA carriers can be in trouble too

    23 / 07 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    If only one of the two genes is mutated, the person is considered a carrier, and typically is not affected by the disease. In essence, the other good copy of the gene inherited from one of the parents rescues the deficiency of the broken gene that was inherited from the other parent. But DNA mutation carriers can sometimes exhibit some disease symptoms too. The patient’s understanding of their history might have to act as the guiding parameter, judged by the test ordering doctor if the condition should be further screened for or not.


  • What is a carrier status in DNA sequencing?

    01 / 07 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    When you are planning to sequence your whole genome, decoding the sequence of your entire DNA, reproductive planning might not be on the top of your list of motivating reasons in which to do so. Many might not even appreciate that is actually one of the major benefits of genome sequencing. It allows figuring out how partners who want to have kids can match their DNA against the odds of passing on mutations to their children that could cause diseases.


  • The first family in Canada to have their genomes sequenced

    15 / 06 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Currently however, genome sequencing for health screening is still uncommon, as the technology is still fairly new and not many people can yet grasp the value behind the test. Therefore Merogenomics is very proud to have participated in what we believe to be the first example of a Canadian family to have used full genome DNA sequencing for health screening purposes. This included 5 family members spanning three generations: a young husband and wife couple, both of the husband’s biological parents and a grandmother on his father’s side.


  • What is genetic counselling?

    25 / 05 / 2019
    Posted by:

    J.Phillips


    If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with a genetic disease then chances are you’ve already heard of genetic counselling, but many people have not. Genetic counselling is a very unique service provided in the healthcare industry. In a system that is focused on diagnosing and treating as many patients as possible, many doctors simply don’t have the time to sit down with their patients and help them understand all of the components of genetic disease and how to adapt to the changes in life that disease brings. This is where genetic counselling comes in. Being confronted with a genetic disorder can be a very overwhelming experience, and if you’ve found yourself in that position it is likely that you will have many questions.


  • So you sequenced your genome DNA - what's next? Part 2

    08 / 05 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    This is part 2 of a series dedicated to discussing topics related to the steps to be taken or considered after you have sequenced your genome. Looking at your insurability and the potential legal consequences are the topic of this post.


  • So you sequenced your genome DNA – what's next?

    25 / 04 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    You have the genome sequence results in your hands. You now have access to your biological code of life, the DNA code, and its current clinical interpretation. What happens next depends on why you sequenced your DNA in the first place. If it is a test to collect medical information about yourself, and if we assume that you are doing it primarily to benefit yourself, then the ultimate purpose of DNA testing for health predispositions or disease diagnosis is to persuade you to change your behaviour!


  • 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?


  • Pregnancy screening options and the role of NIPT

    31 / 03 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The primary concern and screening available for women is that for chromosomal abnormalities. Until the recent introduction of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), the screening program consisted of testing for specific blood markers (whether protein molecules or smaller chemicals) and an ultrasound, in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. According to obstetrics guidelines, pregnant woman is supposed to be clearly told about her screening and testing options, and that includes traditional approaches, NIPT and even diagnostic invasive testing. Diagnostic invasive testing carry small but real risk of pregnancy loss. This is the primary reason why NIPT has gained so much in popularity because women don’t want to undergo diagnostic testing if they don’t have to, and place their pregnancy at risk. But because traditional screening is nowhere near as accurate as NIPT, with traditional screening, lots more women end up undergoing confirmatory diagnostic testing that they would not have to if they took the NIPT test in the first place.


  • A Review of The Language of God by Francis Collins

    12 / 03 / 2019
    Posted by:

    M.Mulligan


    Francis Collins’ chief goal in writing his book, The Language of God, is to bridge the perceived gap between religion and science. In this task, he succeeds at making the case to a religious audience, that good theology incorporates new evidence; in particular, the evidence in support of evolution. Collins’ argument falls short when he draws a line between religion and science, saying they have mutually exclusive domains of inquiry. This arbitrary line he draws leads him to make some tenuous conclusions about the origin of the universe, and the emergence of morality in humans.


  • Caregivers of patients with rare diseases

    28 / 02 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Being a rare disease caregiver is an intimate story of compassion, as almost all caregivers live in the same household as their care recipient, and this usually involves caring for an immediate relative. For most, it is a tale of familial love and enormous dedication, which is staggering in proportion to what a daily routine of a typical adult might be. Only 1% is dedicated to the care of non-family members. Caregivers are modern-day heroes, quietly going about their demanding lives, without fanfare, and unfortunately too often, without much support to ease their difficult duties. On this international Rare Disease Day we dedicate this post to the topic of those who take care of the people afflicted with such conditions.


  • Genetics of sexuality

    09 / 02 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Valentine’s Day is coming and that day has become synonymous with the celebration of romance, partnership, love… and potentially sex at the end of the romantic, seductive day. Of course, the reality often strikes far from the fantasy, but fulfilled sexuality is a normal expectation of a healthy lifestyle, and perhaps there is no other day throughout the year that we go to such lengths to please and seduce each other. So to celebrate this unique day, we want to delve into the genetics of sexuality!


  • The value of DNA sequencing at birth

    30 / 01 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Can sequencing at birth identify genetic findings that are potentially life-saving? Finally, the first results from the BabySeq project which investigated the impact of full genome sequencing in babies soon after birth suggest that DNA testing can uncover the risk of childhood-onset disease in much higher rates than previously anticipated, at nearly 10% of infants (9.4%). We are talking about conditions that were otherwise completely unanticipated to be present in these children based on their appearance, clinical examination, or family history. Furthermore, adult-onset conditions, which are typically not recommended to be investigated in children, were discovered at a rate of 3.5% in otherwise presumed healthy infants.


  • Most gossiped about genetic news of 2018

    11 / 01 / 2019
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    For a third year in a row, we are recounting the most shared genetic stories on social media so this has become our tradition to start the year. It is a collection of stories where the only metric we look at is the number of shares on stories about anything related to DNA. These can range from totally absurd, to very fascinating pieces of content that we would otherwise never come across if it wasn’t for this yearly review. Here are the most shared DNA-related stories on social media in 2018!


  • The top three protections for physicians using genomic medicine

    31 / 12 / 2018
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Are you a doctor who wants to adopt genomic medicine now?

    Are you a doctor who has already introduced the use of DNA sequencing in your practice to assist your patients in their medical care, and want to make sure that the technology is used safely for the benefit of all patients?

    Or are you a doctor who simply encounters DNA sequencing test results, and wonders about the validity of the results or the safe practice use of such results?

    The following are the three most basic, but critical, steps to help you ensure safe practices, protect your patient from the harm of any test misuse, and at the same time, protect yourself and your practice from liability.


  • DNA quality consequence on your DNA test results

    05 / 12 / 2018
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    So you want to sequence your genome, all of your DNA, and look deep into the hidden secrets of your biological code? Then you sure will want to get quality information! It is easy to get excited about the results, but the majority of people who purchase any type of commercial DNA sequencing test, and even many of those selling it, actually have a poor understanding of the complexity of the process and the meaning of the results. With the speed of new DNA sequencing tests coming onto the market (at least 10 medical DNA tests are released per day, and who knows how many non-medical tests), many of them, if not the majority of the available tests on the market, will be providing DNA results that do not have any scientific validation, and hence no actual utility apart from having a bit of fun. However, while you are having some fun, you have to remember that you are disclosing access to your most private and precious biological information, your DNA. Instead, DNA information should be closely guarded by families, and retained for serious medical needs.


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