Methods of Detecting COVID-19

It seems like eons ago that the nation saw its first cases of COVID-19. In the early stages of the outbreak, the coronavirus was all anyone could talk about. Questions like, “How infectious is it?”, “What are the symptoms?”, and, “Who is at risk?” were at the forefront of our thoughts and conversations.    As […]

How Can Genetics Help Predict Diseases?

If you could unravel your DNA and see if your genes indicate a high risk for certain diseases, would you do it? What if this knowledge meant you could make lifestyle changes and reduce your risk? Genomic medicine makes this possible, and it’s opening up an entire world of possibilities for our health. Computer technology […]

The Role of Genes in the Severity of COVID-19 Symptoms

The new strain of coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 is a highly contagious yet highly selective respiratory virus that continues to puzzle researchers and medical professionals. At first, it seemed as though only the elderly and those with underlying health conditions were at risk of developing severe symptoms and dying from the virus — […]

The Viral Evolution of COVID-19

To the knowledge of scientists and the CDC, the family of coronaviruses has been around since the mid-1960s. One of the most deadly of these viruses came about in the early 2000s when Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, otherwise known as SARS, emerged in China. A decade later, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) developed in […]

How is NGS Different from Sanger Sequencing?

Introduction Sequencing DNA involves biochemical processes to ascertain the order (sequence) of nucleotides of DNA strands. Maxam-Gilbert and Sanger methods were developed over 40 years ago, but the Sanger method soon dominated the DNA sequencing arena. With this method, DNA is repeatedly copied resulting in DNA fragments of varying lengths. The ends of each fragment […]

Race and Predisposition to Disease

Introduction Interdisciplinary efforts over several decades have provided intriguing information regarding the factors that contribute to racial differences in health status and outcomes. Even with this information on hand, challenges remain regarding improved characterization of these various biological and environmental factors. Advances in genomic studies have provided some of the valuable tools and data needed […]

Next Generation Sequencing Could Dramatically Impact Life Expectancy

Introduction A Centers for Disease Control website provides a definition for life expectancy as “the average number of years that a hypothetical group of infants would live at each attained age if the group was subject, throughout its lifetime, to the age-specific death rates prevailing for the actual population in a given year” (1). It […]

Chromatin Immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq)

Chromatin Immunoprecipitation assays have the ability to capture an image of specific protein to DNA interactions that are occurring in a system and process these interactions using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), ChIP-chip, or next generation sequencing (NGS). When paired with next generation sequencing specifically, ChIP-seq is a powerful way to identify genome-wide DNA binding […]

Role of Next-Generation Sequencing in Pancreatic Cancer Management

Introduction Pancreatic cancer (PC) is considered one of the most fatal cancers in the U.S. and other developed countries. The best outcomes and survival rates after treatment are only possible with early detection and treatment before the onset of symptoms. There is a great need to uncover ways to detect PC early to achieve better […]

Advances in Microbiome Diagnostics

Introduction The organisms that are a part of our normal biology are essential for our survival and well-being. The genetic material of these organisms collectively makes up the human microbiome. However, there are many scientists that use the term microbiome interchangeably with microbiota (the actual normal microorganism in a particular environment, such as the human […]