Genetics strongly influence our predisposition to mental illness

It is becoming increasingly clear that our genes influence everything from our personality traits to specific psychiatric disorders

Genetics strongly influence our predisposition to mental illnessNature has been pitted against nurture for centuries. People have always pondered the question of whether human behaviour is primarily dictated by genetic hard-wiring or by our experiences and environmental factors. The debate has lasted so long because we know comparatively little about the functioning of the human brain. As a result, disorders of the…

Donor-conceived people need to know their medical history

The first international Genetic Identity Day comes just as Health Canada seeks to prevent people from knowing their genetic identity

Donor-conceived people need to know their medical historyBy Juliet Guichon, Barry Stevens and Ian Mitchell People have a moral right know their medical, social and cultural history, and the identity of their genetic parents. And this right applies to those who have been adopted or conceived by egg and sperm that were either sold or given. This moral right is marked in…

Using genes to attack disease with precision

Pharmacogenomics, a mixture of the pharmaceutical and genetic sciences, holds vast potential for health care

Using genes to attack disease with precisionPharmacogenomics is a long word that describes an area of health research with vast potential for future medicine. Now part of most new clinical trials, it's a mixture of the pharmaceutical and genetic sciences. It involves the study of how a person’s genes affect the way the body responds to drugs. The hope is that we…

Temper your confidence in the science that runs your life

Trust requires consistency and transparency. It must be understandable. And we need regulations that protect the public

Temper your confidence in the science that runs your lifeThe big success stories of our time have scaled at exponential rates – Facebook, Amazon, Apple and the other ‘super bigs’ relentlessly enlarge themselves. When something scales, however, the mix of characteristics, benefits, and costs of a business or organization may scale with it. In contemporary life, the tools that business, research and social interaction…

Genetic modification a crucial tool in feeding the world

Scientists have found no negative differences in the health of people eating GM and non-GM foods

Genetic modification a crucial tool in feeding the worldThe changing environment means we face weather patterns that haven’t been seen in generations. And that means new challenges in feeding humanity. But we have the tools. Storms and floods are more frequent and widespread. Changing temperatures affect oceans and lands, wildlife and crops. Because we haven’t seen such changes before, we often don’t know…

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more Aspirin

Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, ordered to pay $289M to a single plaintiff. Even if Monsanto’s brands no longer exist, its legacy remains

Monsanto lawsuit ruling leaves Bayer in need of more AspirinIn California, where lawsuits can be found more easily than drinking water, German chemical giant Bayer has been dealt a huge legal blow. Monsanto, now a division of Bayer, was ordered to pay a whopping US$289 million in damages to a gardener suffering from cancer, allegedly from using Monsanto products. Given that more than 5,000 such…

Putting science to work solving real-world problems – and winning awards

University of Lethbridge students continue to win international honours by developing groundbreaking technology

Putting science to work solving real-world problems – and winning awardsThe University of Lethbridge has been sending teams of students to compete in the iGEM Jamboree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston for the last 10 years. At the competition sponsored by iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine Foundation), student teams by the hundreds gather from around the world to present their latest…

Canada Revenue Agency discriminates against PKU sufferers

The federal government routinely denies the Disability Tax Credit to those who need it – and are eligible by law

Canada Revenue Agency discriminates against PKU sufferersThis story began when I offered to represent the mother of a three-year-old with PKU, a rare genetic disorder, in a federal tax court. She had never even fought a parking ticket before she went against the federal government. We won. It turns out, evidence matters. But the story doesn’t end there. We went to…

In search of a personal story thousands of years old

DNA-based research will provide you with insight into your ancestral origins, and you might be surprised by what you learn

In search of a personal story thousands of years oldThese being the dog days of summer, this particular column will be an exercise in self-indulgence. It’s about my ancestry, so consider yourself forewarned. As people get older, they often develop a curiosity about ancestry. This typically takes the form of genealogy, tracing the family tree back as far as one can through grandparents, great-grandparents…

Parliament debating legislation to curb genetic discrimination

While genome analysis can alter the very practice of medicine, there is a fear it can be used to discriminate on the ground of genetic characteristics

Parliament debating legislation to curb genetic discriminationBy Paul Boucher and Juliet Guichon Contributors Troy Media CALGARY, Alta. March 8, 2017 /Troy Media/ – Doctors are frequently demoralized when they believe their patient has a treatable disease or condition but the patient won’t take the diagnostic test. For example, patients suspected of being HIV positive have refused the diagnostic blood test because they…