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

Two new rounds of Genomic Applications Partnership Program now open

January 18, 2018

Ontario Genomics is pleased to announce that two new rounds of Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) are now open.
The GAPP funds public-private research collaborations focused on developing genomics-derived technologies that address opportunities and challenges identified by industry, government, not-for-profits or other “Receptors” of genomics innovation. The program provides a unique opportunity for Receptor organizations to collaborate with an ’omics researcher, and to leverage their R&D investments with public funding.

Read More

The GMO debate – what does the science say? Are we listening?

January 18, 2018

Food Evolution, a new documentary by Academy Award™-nominated director Scott Hamilton Kennedy, was screened in Toronto and Waterloo this week. The film explores the polarized debate on genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and food, and how both pro- and anti-GMO camps claim science is on their side. The documentary, narrated by the accomplished astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson,…

Read More

Ontario-developed technology for screening variant libraries comes of age

January 18, 2018

Ranomics is a Toronto-based genomics company specializing in high-throughput mutagenesis and functional genomics screens, for the purpose of understanding genetic variations in human health. Leo Wan and Cathy Tie, who were both researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital at the time, founded the company in 2015. Both founders were distinguished scholars. Leo received his Ph.D. from…

Read More