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Image by Manisha Talukdar What if your pharmacist could predict how you would respond to medications? Worries about unpleasant side effects and lack of effectiveness of medications would be a thing of the past! Say ‘good-bye’ to guess-work and ‘hello’ to personalized medications. Medical treatments are designed for the “average patient” and the “one-size-fits-all-treatments” are…

Did you know that insulin resistance causes excessive blood insulin? Sounds a little confusing at first, but let me explain. When cells in our body don’t respond to insulin (insulin resistance), our body tries to compensate by continuing to making more insulin, resulting in excessive blood insulin levels! Hallmark of PCOS – Insulin Resistance: The…

It can be quite challenging when antidepressants are not working. But, the treatment of depression remains one of trial-and-error. When a patient with clinical depression is prescribed an antidepressant, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to find out if the medication actually works for the patient, during which the patient can suffer from side…

BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are well known breast cancer genes and inherited mutations in these genes increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Breast cancer, the most common, invasive cancer in females worldwide can run in families or occur in women without a prior family history of breast cancer. However, mutations in BRCA1 and…

Why inherited diseases occur? Risk of common inherited diseases like cancer, heart disease, and autism are determined by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It’s not just DNA that is a contributing factor – diet, lifestyle, physical activity, and exposure to toxins play a role too. Occasionally, a risk factor is erroneously attributed to…

What’s involved in IVF Infertility treatments involving fertility drugs and management of eggs, sperm, and embryos outside of the human body are called Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most common type of ART. IVF has a relatively short history. It started in 1978, with the birth of Louise Brown, the…

Will we soon be using prenatal genetic testing to pick and choose traits we want in our children? Are ‘designer babies’ around the corner? Are we on the verge of creating a demigod race by selecting and grooming for traits from the womb? To understand why people should not really be worried about this sci-fi…

Young first-time mothers decrease the risk of breast cancer – here’s why:

The gold standard for diagnosing endometriosis has always been through a laparoscopy. Yet, recent advances in the field of genetics have identified biomarkers in the genome which could help identify women who are at risk of developing endometriosis. It affects females with infertility, but genetic testing may be the answer. What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is…

From the time we are born, millions of bacteria set up home in and on our body with the largest contingent living in the coils of our intestines. For every human cell intrinsic to our body we have about 10 resident bacteria, most of them harmless, many useful and only in a tiny number of…

A typical cancerous tumour contains millions of cells with genetic mutations which induce the cells to proliferate and invade the local tissue. As the cells multiply, some are shed from the tumour and swept away by the bloodstream or lymphatic system. These circulating tumour cells (CTCs) can remain loose in circulation, cluster together or lodge…

Genetic alterations are important diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive biologic markers in cancer and can help tailor individual cancer treatment. Researchers in the field of cancer genetics have been studying genetic alterations in tumour tissues to categorize cancer by gene mutations to facilitate development of personalized cancer therapies. Here is an summary of two research papers…

Cancers are named for the tissue they originate from not the mutations which are causing and affecting the behaviour of the malignancies. That may be about to change. Cancers may soon be identified by a vocabulary which identifies the mutated gene causing the cell to become cancerous. An example, the mutation ‘BRAF V600E’ indicates a…

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