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NEWSLETTER

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  • 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.


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

    27 / 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.


  • COVID-19, the invisible healer

    05 / 05 / 2020
    Posted by:

    J.McKague


    This pandemic has touched me. Not because I am infected, or even know anyone who is, but because it has brought light to the ways I, and so many like me, have already experienced social isolation, working from home with deadlines and little ones, housing uncertainty, mental health struggles, involuntary separation from my daughter and loved ones, urban loneliness, job insecurity, jumping through hoops to get government assistance in times of anguish, not being able to go to bars and restaurants because we couldn’t afford it, struggles to keep the rent paid and food on the table, anxiety, depression, sleepless nights. Feeling like I am in a city, but on the outside looking in.


  • 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.


  • 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?

    30 / 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.


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