Promotive Communications

LabFocus Feb Mar 2019

Laboratory Focus is Canada's leading editorial-based lab publication. Providing readers with the latest technology updates through application and tech notes, as well as covering new products and trends in laboratories across Canada.

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23andMe adds weight-loss coaching Continued from page 1 Socioeconomic Disparities Continued from page 2 3 Laboratory Focus February/March 2019 NEWS More than $10 million in funding was issued by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to health re- searchers in London, Ont. The money was split between Schulich Medicine & Dentistry ($7.3 million) and Lawson Health Research Institute ($2.8 million) for a total of 15 projects, some ad- dressing anti-cancer immunotherapy, and two projects investigating Indig- enous health. One of the projects receiving fund- ing is Lloy Wylie, PhD's study looking to improve the ability of health care organizations to meet the health care needs of Indigenous people. Wylie's study evaluates interventions such as training, storytelling, relationship building, and the implementation of new policy and practice guidelines in Indigenous health care. Shawn Li, PhD's study aiming to develop new immunotherapy for hard to treat cancers is another project receiving funding. By investigating the molecular basis of immune evasion in cancer, Li hopes to discover "a deep- ened understanding of the molecular basis of immune escape in cancer [that] would pave the way for the development of rationally designed immunotherapies." "Funding from the CIHR will enable our research leaders to advance their service stating that tools like these haven't shown anything useful. "The idea is good, but without the proof of peer-reviewed publications with prospective study, we have no knowledge whether these algorithms have any benefit,'' said Eric Topol, a geneticist at Scripps Research Institute. Drabant-Coley believes the service will motivate people to lose weight because genetics are "personal, so people take suggestions more seri- ously''. The service was born out of studies in a number of important areas related to our understanding of the underlying basis of health and dis- ease as well as advances in treatment and health care delivery," said David Litchfield, PhD, vice dean of research and innovation at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. "This research reflects the commitment of our school to address the needs of our society." For a full list of funding recipients visit Schulich Medicine & Dentistry news. about/news/2019/january/cihr_fund- ing_supports_important_projects_ from_indigenous_health_to_can- cer_immunotherapy.html a 100,000-person study conducted last year by 23andMe where the link between DNA and dieting success was investigated. For $19.99 per month, Lark's app will take users' genetic information and incorporate data from eight differ- ent 23andMe reports to provide their weight-loss advice. While Topol said he'd like to see more research, Lark CEO Julia Hu says Lark uses the genetic markers to identify the weight-loss interven- tions that are most relevant to the individual at the most opportune time to help them succeed. mum contaminant level indicated by the Environmental Protection Agency, and in fact most average nitrate con- centrations were below 1 mg/L. But, out of the 39,466 CWSs observed, 1,647 had nitrate concentrations above 5mg/L. A major source of nitrate pollution is agriculture, therefore Dr. Laurel Schaider, lead author of the study, hypothesized that "Hispanic Ameri- cans might have higher nitrate in their drinking water because many US farmworkers are Hispanic. However, we saw these associations even after we adjusted our statistical model to take into account agricultural land use. These results suggest that there may be additional reasons why Hispanic residents in the US have higher nitrate in their drinking water." To understand the link between nitrate levels and demographics, data was compiled based on 616,591 sam- ples from 39,466 CSWs from across the United States taken between 2010 and 2014. While the authors of the study caution that nitrate levels vary depending on the time of year of collection and the true average nitrate concentration may not have been capture, these findings suggest that programs attempting address nitrate contamination to help low-income and small public water supplies may not be addressing the problem adequately. Approximately 5.6 million Americans are served by public water supplies with nitrate levels of more than 5 mg/L. CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH (CIHR) GRANTS SUPPORT IMPORTANT PROJECTS FROM INDIGENOUS HEALTH TO CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY

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