PEDv, an extremely infectious coronavirus that infects the small intestine of a pig, causes severe diarrhea and dehydration leading to high piglet mortality. The United States PEDv epidemic has had substantial economic impact since its May, 2013 discovery. In a single year, PEDv has spread across 30 states, killing millions of pigs and resulting in an estimated loss of 10% of the U.S. pig population.
In the last few decades, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has become a cancer success story with over 80 per cent survival among children. This has been achieved mostly through intensive chemotherapy, which that has improved outcomes for many, but unfortunately not for all. Still about 20 per cent of children with ALL will relapse, and survival among adults is just 40 per cent.
From May 1 to June 30, 2014 Statistics Canada is inviting researchers to apply for access to blood, urine and DNA samples from the Biobank of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS for use in health studies. The biospecimens are available to any Canadian researcher that completes a review process and would benefit from a national population survey of about 5,600 participants per collection cycle.
Their work days look very different — the aquaculture producer hauling in a full net, the farmer harvesting a bumper crop, the mining technician maximizing extraction, the biomedicine researcher developing a new therapy, the forester protecting trees from pests or the auto-parts maker using green materials.
Current advanced technologies for genetic analysis have created almost unimaginable amounts of data, measured in “petabytes” – a petabyte is a million billion bytes. Genomic researchers are keen to analyze these data and identify genetic clues that could point to new ways to prevent or cure cancer.
Today Canada’s genomics enterprise marks the landmark discovery of DNA’s double helix structure, published in Nature by James Watson and Francis Crick in April 1953. The discovery – arguably one of the most important of the 20th century – answered a fundamental mystery about how living organisms pass genetic instructions from generation to generation, and eventually enabled later researchers to understand the genetic code.