Canadian Genomics Cloud launched

February 16, 2018

A national consortium of industry and academic collaborators have launched the Canadian Genomics Cloud, an integrated software platform to manage, analyze and share genome sequence and clinical data. As detailed in an accompanying white paper, this public cloud computing platform will give every scientist in the country unfettered access to award-winning technology empowering precision medicine and other applications in genomics research.

Read More

Canada’s Genomics Enterprise launches “CanSeq150” to lay the foundation for Canada’s next 150 years of science

February 14, 2018

To commemorate the 150th Birthday of Canada in 2017 and to lay the foundation of Canadian excellence in research for the next 150 years, Canada’s Genomics Enterprise (CGEn) and its partners are embarking upon the Canada 150 Sequencing Project (CanSeq150). The aim is to sequence 150 new genomes to support sequence-based genomics research in Canada by enabling future…

Read More

Fabry disease precision treatment one step closer to Canadian patients

February 7, 2018

Fabry disease is a rare genetic disease caused by a deficiency in the enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (a-Gal A) that causes a buildup of a specific type of fat in the body. Galafold™ (migalastat), a new oral drug to treat some patients with Fabry disease, has just received a positive recommendation by the CADTH Common Drug Review for reimbursement and listing with provincial drug formularies.

Read More

Sequencing the world

February 5, 2018

It has been 15 years since the publication of the complete human genome. During that time, many organisms have been sequenced from crops and animals to simple organisms like bacteria. The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) has proposed an audacious goal: to sequence, within a decade, the genomes of all 1.5m known species of plants, animals and fungi. The $500M project could create an enormous data resource that could help answer fundamental question, discover new drugs and materials, and more.

Read More

Breakthrough leads to sequencing of a human genome using a pocket-sized device

February 2, 2018

A new nanopore technology for direct sequencing of long strands of DNA has resulted in the most complete human genome ever assembled with a single technology, scientists have revealed. The research, published today in Nature Biotechnology, included scientists from the University of British Columbia and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (Jared Simpson, pictured above). Using an emerging technology – a pocket sized, portable DNA sequencer – the scientists sequenced a complete human genome, in fragments hundreds of times larger than usual, enabling new biological insights.

Read More

Investing in the battle to overcome drug resistant fungal infections

January 31, 2018

With a $100,000 investment, Ontario Genomics is helping Toronto-based start-up company Bright Angel Therapeutics develop novel anti-fungal treatments. Fungal diseases are a global public health problem. Data compiled by the Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections (GAFFI) show that “over 300 million people are afflicted with a serious fungal infection and 25 million are at…

Read More

Study identifies genes that determine ability to lose weight

January 25, 2018

It’s not just diet and physical activity; your genes also determine how easily you lose or gain weight. Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and other institutions of the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium found 13 genes that carry variations associated with body mass index (BMI). Some genes were linked to people who weighed above the average, and some below, and 8 of the 13 were newly implicated in obesity.

Read More

Personalized medicine helps reduce cancer overtreatment

January 23, 2018

The use and recommendation of chemotherapy for women with both node-negative and node-positive early-stage breast cancer has declined in recent years, according to a recent survey. One of the survey authors, Dr. Allison Kurian, said in a press release “This likely reflects a change in the culture of how physicians are practicing, and a move toward using tumor biology to guide treatment choices rather than solely relying on clinical measures.” Lead author Dr. Steven Katz adds “Our study shows how breast cancer is a model for how doctors have driven advances in personalized medicine into the exam room to reduce overtreatment.”

Read More