Genomics Blog

October 5, 2014 6:15 AM
Letting the genie out of the bottle: 23andMe expands to Canada
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Guest post from Olivia Lee, law student turned medical student at the University of Ottawa, and former policy intern with Genome Canada.

On Wednesday October 1st, 23andMe, American pioneer in direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, announced that it now offers exclusive health and ancestry services to the Canadian market through The announcement comes a year after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to the company, instructing it to cease providing unreliable health information that could potentially lead consumers to misinformed decisions regarding their health.  Effectively forced to limit its services to genealogical information, the company has set sights north of the boarder to Canadian consumers, 20 000 of whom have already sought 23andMe’s genomic based “health reports.”  Its expansion into a market without genetic discrimination laws nor specific direct to consumer genetic testing regulations seems to be a promising solution for a company looking to overcome regulatory setbacks. 

October 15, 2014 3:32 PM
Government of Canada Announces New Research Projects to Bring Genomics Solutions to Industry Challenges
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Media Release, October 15, 2014. The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Dr. Pierre Meulien, President and CEO of Genome Canada, are pleased to announce the first 12 projects selected for funding under Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP). The announcement was made at Wallenstein’s Feed & Supply Ltd., where the Minister toured the company’s animal feed production facilities.

GAPP projects partner academic researchers with “users” of genomics (e.g. industry, provincial governments, non-profits, or other organizations) to translate innovations that are expected to have considerable economic and social impacts within the near term.
October 15, 2014 3:21 PM
Atlantic Canadian Teams Receive $7.6M To Enhance Aquaculture Industry
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Media Release, October 15, 2014. Two regional projects will help aquaculture companies compete globally with enhanced breeding programs and improved feed formulas. The projects were among 12 industry-academic partnerships that received funding through Genome Canada's Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), announced by The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) today in Guelph, Ontario.

October 14, 2014 1:04 PM
Stand Up To Cancer Canada Announces Up To $22.6 Million CAD Available for Stand Up To Cancer Canada Dream Teams
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Media Release, October 14, 2014. Stand Up To Cancer Canada (SU2C Canada), together with Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) with support from CIBC, Cancer Stem Cell Consortium (CSCC), Genome Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), is pleased to announce that up to $22.6 million CAD is available to fund two separate cancer research Dream Teams to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking research to bring new treatments from the laboratory to patients faster. Funding for this research is provided by these SU2C Canada collaborators and from the SU2C telecast which aired on September 5 and appealed to the Canadian public to pledge support for cancer research, awareness and education.
October 10, 2014 12:11 PM
October Is Get To Know GMOs Month
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Media ReleaseOctober 6, 2014. Consumers are making a conscious effort to get to know more about how their food is grown – planting gardens, going to farmers markets, and searching online for answers. This month GMO Answers ( invites the public to "Get to Know GMOs"— to ask their toughest questions and join the conversation.

"With the coming of October, we welcome a new fall season, a new harvest and a new opportunity to connect with consumers about their food – from farm to table," Cathleen Enright, Council for Biotechnology Information executive director and GMO Answers spokesperson, said. "At GMO Answers, we invite you to ask us any questions you might have about GMOs — from how they are created to who is growing them to what ends up on your table."

October 10, 2014 7:14 AM
The Thing with Feathers – A Review
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Noah Strycker in his book The Thing with Feathers introduced me to the fact that serious birders make use of bird genomics for a variety of studies. Bird DNA has contributed to our knowledge of bird evolution and the distribution of birds around the world. DNA studies have helped ornithologists determine ranges, breeding populations and even breeding fidelity among some birds thought to be monogamous.