Genomics Blog

February 20, 2015 9:26 AM
Getting to Know Your Body - the Metabolomic Way
It all started with basic metabolomics research led by Dr. David Wishart at the University of Alberta. Wishart's work has become known worldwide and led to the establishment of The Metabolomics Innovation Centre in Edmonton.
Now that basic research is being spun-off into the commercial space through companies like OMx Personal Health Analytics which works closely with TMIC. The company's promise to help "know your body" is part of the growing desire by people to make better decisions about their health by having more accurate information about what is going on inside their bodies.
With a test that measures more than 120 metabolomic indicators OMx has made it possible to really get to know how your body is functioning.
Freelance broadcaster and journalist Don Hill visited OMx and talked about the disruptive science of metabolomics with Michael Wilson, one of the company's founders.

Give it a listen
and let us know what you think about a more personal approach to our health and health care.

March 24, 2015 9:28 AM
Youth Science Outreach Programs Receive Government of Canada Funding, Southern Alberta Students to Benefit
Filed Under: News Releases | 0 Comments

Media Release, March 18, 2015. More southern Alberta students will experience science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs thanks to a Government of Canada investment that supports the Actua network, including the Destination Exploration program at the University of Lethbridge.

The Government’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) announced today $3.6 million in PromoScience support to 66 recipients engaging over a million young Canadians. Further, the government will be increasing its support for science promotion activities to $10.9 million per year.

March 20, 2015 1:05 PM
More cautious use of antibiotic use in our pets called for by experts
Filed Under: Mikenomics | 0 Comments
Medical researchers and health care experts are warning against the overuse of antibiotics in people, in labs, and in livestock. Now the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine has come out and said their needs to be better surveillance of antibiotic use in pets.
We have a multimedia overview with audio, video , and a slide presentation for you to help explain the problem.
March 18, 2015 1:20 PM
Fecal Transplants - old treatment getting new attention in Alberta
Filed Under: Mikenomics | 0 Comments
It seems that as we post more podcasts to our site lately, much of the subject matter circles back to a couple of topic areas that we knew were related but didn't originally intend to pull together - metabolomics and the increased use of antibiotics.
Dr. Dina Kao is a University of Alberta gastroenterologist and researcher who crosses over and circles around the 2 topics with her work on fecal transplants. As weird and as unorthodox as that may sound it is a practice which has origins going back to the 4th Century and one which veterinarians were still using to treat farm animals into the 1700's.
However the renewed interest has come about as people take more antibiotics and suffer from side effects that can kill off the beneficial gut bacteria. Rejuvenating that gut microbiome can be achieved through a fecal transplant. Other diseases that affect the liver and the bowel can also benefit from the treatment. Dr. Kao and her team are developing a urine test that reads the metabolomic signature to detect certain problems that could benefit from a supervised fecal transplant.
The treatment is still not a common approach but with funding from the U of A Hospital Foundation  and Alberta Health Services, it is getting more attention and research, and is showing a good success rate.
Freelance Broadcaster Don Hill talked to Dr. Kao about fecal transplants and clinical trials on patients with C. difficile.
March 14, 2015 8:28 AM
DNA Day: an opportunity for interviewing experts
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
Even before the age of the internet, some teachers encouraged top students to follow their passion areas by contacting experts to learn more than the traditional curriculum. It was one of those ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ pedagogical strategies. When it involved writing letters, the student numbers involved were likely small; plus, students would have gained considerable knowledge in formulating questions and perhaps getting ready for a follow-up phone call or even a visit to a local university.

What has happened now that scientists’ contact information is readily available online?
March 11, 2015 10:08 AM
Improving the Health & Well-Being of Albertans through Epigenetics Research Excellence
Media Release, Calgary, March 11, 2015 -
The Alberta Epigenetics Network brings together more than 40 researchers, educators, and clinicians representing a powerfully diverse range of scientific disciplines. With $1.2 million in support from the Government of Alberta and Alberta’s three largest research universities, the Network will increase the scale and impact of epigenetics research occurring in Alberta and accelerate the application of important epigenetic discoveries and therapies.