Genetics 101 Blog

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In this current age of marijuana decriminalization, both in Canada and the United States, you often hear conflicting claims purporting the addictiveness – or lack thereof – of marijuana. In our contemporary era of hyper-polarized debates, where do you go for reliable information? The answer – your genetic makeup of course! Three genetic variants linked…

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As humans continue to evolve on Earth, so will our impact on the Earth’s resources. One example of such evolution was recently highlighted in a study which reports a novel genetic component associated with vegetarian diet choices. Basically, the genetics of a specific food processing pathway in vegetarians seems to have evolved to accommodate for…

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You must have heard about Precision Medicine and its potential to prevent and treat complex, chronic conditions. What you may not know is that the Precision Medicine movement is currently very focused on genetic sequences, specifically understanding and targeting DNA sequence alterations (i.e. mutations) that result in disease development. But did you know that there…

“To be, or not to be, that is the question…” not just being asked by Hamlet in William Shakespeare’s play but also by young women around the world when it comes to being tested for the BRCA mutation. A recent study, led by a team of researchers at the prestigious Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, shows that…

PillCheck™ is your personalized dosing guide designed to be used by a pharmacogenetics-trained pharmacist to Personalize and Optimize your Treatment. A simple non-invasive cheek swab can help your healthcare providers obtain insights into your drug metabolic profile.  It helps them to identify the most effective and safest treatment for you.  PillCheck covers over 65 commonly…

Statins is a popular class of drugs commonly used to lower cholesterol levels. Over 1 billion people worldwide take statins daily to reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes. As we have seen previously, the effectiveness and safety of statins can be influenced by the status of your CYP3A4 and SLCO1B1 genes. But did…

A surprisingly high number of childhood cancers are related to inherited genetic mutations. Doctors at St. Jude’s say they will use this newly discovered information to better direct care of cancer patients and help parents with family planning. In a landmark study, published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, over 1200 children and…

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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…

Genetic testing, the present and future of chemotherapy

Based on “Combien de morts ça va prendre?” by Marie Claude Malboeuf, La Presse At 69 years old, Paul Allard had just gotten a colon tumor removed, had no traces of metastasis and was given a 3 in 4 chance of being cancer-free for the rest of his life. He opted to undergo oral chemotherapy…

Improving pain relief: taking advantage of personalized medicine to understand your genetics and how you metabolize Advil and Tylenol.

If you suffer from chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis or sciatica and are looking for pain relief, chances are you have a bottle of either Advil® or Tylenol® in your medicine cabinet. Some people swear by Advil for pain management and denounce Tylenol as ineffective; others claim the opposite and swear by Tylenol. Some people encounter…

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BRCA mutation testing has been in the news a lot lately, and many of you are well aware that mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which code for DNA damage repair proteins, are associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers. However, not everyone with a BRCA mutation will develop cancer, and…

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