Genomics Blog

March 20, 2015 1:05 PM
More cautious use of antibiotic use in our pets called for by experts
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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
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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 4, 2015 1:42 PM
What 23andMe looks like
DNA is not your destinyI have a tendency to be an early adopter of technology. Most of it I like to think, is useful and genetic testing is one of those technologies that requires knowledge, trust, and a dash of hope to adopt early on.
23andMe was founded in 2006 by Linda Avey, Anne Wojcicki, and Paul Cusenza. Anne Wojcicki is the only one of the 3 still with the company and though 23andMe is not an arm of Google, Anne is married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin and there was Google money in the initial investment that got 23andMe off the ground.
In 2007 the company started offering direct-to-consumer genetic testing and in 2008 I (with the help of Genome Alberta) laid down the 999.00 dollars it took back then to get the test. The idea was to use it and tests from Navigenics, deCode, the Ancestry Project, and later the National Genographic Project, as an outreach tool and to help explain to the public what genetics and genetic testing is all about.   
January 29, 2015 2:26 PM
News Talk 770 Interview with David Wishart
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Michelle Rempel, the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, recently announced an investment of $2,983,800 towards state-of-the-art metabolomics assessment equipment to be housed at The Metabolomics Innovation Centre at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
The announcement got some good media attention including this interview done by Peter Watts, host of the Alberta-wide weekend program on 770 News Talk Radio.
Courtesy of AM770, here is the complete interview for those who missed it.
January 26, 2015 2:08 PM
Private sector engages The Metabolomics Innovation Centre
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Michelle Rempel, the , Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification announced last week an investment of $2,983,800 towards state-of-the-art metabolomics assessment equipment to be housed at Minister Rempel & David Wishartthe Metabolomics Innovation Centre at the University of Alberta.  The equipment will help the TMIC expands commercial services to test, validate, and assemble prototype kits to cost-effectively create more accurate and less invasive medical tests.
Minister Rempel has a background in innovation and IP, and talked about success in commercializing academic research here immediately after the announcement.

As a measure of the commercial demand to get metabolomics research out of the lab and into the marketplace, Cell MedX Corp announced today that it will use The Metabolomics Innovation Centre to conduct metabolomics profiling of blood samples collected during the discovery phase of a pilot trial which CellMedX started on January 9.
Cell MedX Corp. is an early development stage company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic products for patients with diseases such as diabetes by developing technologies to help manage the illness and related complications.