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  • Cow research benefiting human health? Yes!

    24 / 10 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Everyone agrees on the importance of research to make medical progress. How this actually occurs is poorly understood in the general public, but it is assumed that once a treatment enters a clinical practice, it has been well researched. One of the areas of mystery is the role that research on animals plays in the progress of both human and animal medicine. But rather than getting into a debate on the ethics of animal research for human welfare, I wanted to point out a curious example in how agricultural research can also benefit human health.


  • BabySeq, a catchy name, a catchy way to study the future

    30 / 09 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    There are massive studies underway in the US right now that are checking into the idea of what societal health benefits can be derived by screening babies upon birth with the sequencing of their genomes. This is a very laborious undertaking, combining the research efforts of many clinical institutions, as well as many scientists and physicians, and is scrutinized throughout the process from every angle possible. It is desirable to find out how good such sequencing would be for babies to be healthier, how accurate the process could be, how dangerous, how costly, and what impact can be expected. It will require many years of examination to bring all of the necessary data required to guide future health policies and standards.


  • Molecular look inside cancer to help a friend in need

    29 / 08 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Cancer. That dreaded word. No one ever wants to hear it. We all know how deadly cancer can be. So when I found out that a friend of mine was diagnosed with a recurrent form of epithelioid sarcoma, my heart sank. Because I know this woman, and I really like her; she has a kind heart, and is always sporting great smile. I felt so helpless. But I study the use of next-generation sequencing all the time and I already knew that the use of genome sequencing has had a valuable impact in the molecular understanding of different cancer types, including selecting the proper treatment type. I did not hesitate for a moment and I let my friend know what I knew, what I believed.


  • Synthesising humans, a modern topic of debate?

    27 / 07 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    One genome-related newstory that has stirred the public lately was last year’s announcement of a project to synthetically build a human genome. What do I mean by that? To build an entire human genome, the DNA code that makes each individual unique, with a machine base by base, chromosome by chromosome. You can imagine such information elicited quite a few gasps among the bewildered public.


  • Introduction to non-invasive prenatal testing

    26 / 06 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Our cells continuously die or are destroyed, and as they are broken down, their genetic material can be released into the blood stream. Once in the blood, the circulating DNA will be cleared up in matter of hours, but it is a process that occurs on a continuous basis. This allows for a constant supply of DNA to be in circulation, whether it is that of the mother, or of the developing baby.


  • Chemotherapy and cancer, what are your survival odds?

    11 / 06 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Everyone in the world is familiar with cancer. It is hardly possible to journey through life and not encounter a story of someone who knows someone with cancer. We all identify emotionally with it to various degrees, ranging from fear to empathy. So this is a serious and important subject to be analyzed. And in this study, we are looking at the mortality rates within 30 days of breast or lung cancer treatment initiation. You may think, hey, this should be big news, and it was, but not for the reasons you might expect.


  • How valuable is your personal genome sequence? The public decides!

    26 / 05 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The word value is tricky as it can have very different meanings to different people. It can be monetary, but it can also have a deeply personal value. In this post, we will look at value from multiple angles. How does the public see the medical utility value of genome sequencing? How does the public see the personal utility value of genome sequencing? How does the public see the cost value of genome sequencing? 

    Which one of these values would be most important to you: medical, personal utility, or cost? It is not a trivial question to answer!


  • How to tell if your genes could be acted on to help

    13 / 05 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    "Actionable" genes are the genes that if mutated can lead to serious health complications, but where something can actually be done about it for a patient if discovered. So being able to determine what constitutes a gene with beneficial treatment or intervention to take place is definitely important! This is particularly timely work in light of emerging evidence of genetic testing leading to bad decisions with no benefit to patients.


  • Pregnancies just got new test to study fetus

    24 / 04 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    What has changed, quite recently, is how pregnant women have started applying genomic technologies to assess the health risks of their babies, even prior to being born. Colloquially known as NIPT test, which stands for a non-invasive prenatal test, it is a term that is rapidly becoming familiar to pregnant women.


  • Most gossiped about genetic news of 2016

    07 / 04 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    The new year is in full swing, resolutions have been almost all forgotten, and perhaps it is time to unwind to a social media biggest buzz of 2016 on topics of genome and DNA sequencing. And there is a lot to choose from, ranging from strange to curious to fascinating and always to the latest science.


  • When your blood is your enemy

    31 / 03 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Life can be seemingly normal, as everything is working fine, until a clot is formed and leads to plugged blood vessel. I probably do not have to tell you that plugging any pipe is usually not a desired event in any typical context, so when it happens in your body, it can be outright dangerous! Thrombophilia is a serious condition that might not even be suspected until a family history is revealed, or a serious condition develops.


  • One meeting to shape the world, one concept to bind us all - human genomics

    22 / 02 / 2017
    Posted by:

    Dr.M.Raszek


    Do you ever wonder what paramount events might be taking place behind the scenes that will shape your life and yet you never even know about it? One such event took place in Vancouver city not that long ago. 


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