DNA Day exerts answer your questions about genomics

CurioCity
20 April 2012

Above: Image © Bainscou, Wikimedia Commons

Which is the more important - nature vs. nurture? Can we tell the difference with genomics?

This is a difficult question. It would depend on what you were studying but let's take Obesity. I think genetics and environment have an equivalent role to play. With our technologies we have today we are just starting to elucidate this. So it will be a bit of both.

- Answer provided by Dr. Dennis McCormac

What do you think will be the most significant issues in genomics communications in the next 10 years?

Well, one issue will be the implications of knowing our precise DNA sequence from an early age and what to do with that knowledge. For example, just because someone has mutation XYZ that can predispose to disease ABC, doesn't mean they will get that disease. Now, what will happen if an Insurance company gets that information? Will you be denied coverage? Ethical problems like that must be addressed before such genomic technology is implemented globally.

- Answer provided by Dr. Aaron Goodarzi

What is genomics, and how does it affects my everyday life?

Genomics is the study of all the genes in an organisms. Study of genomics is used for instance to understand human diseases, ability of crops to be resistant to diseases. Therefore genomics is everywhere.

- Answer provided by Dr. Gijs Van Rooijen

What does genomics have to do with my health?

Genomics (knowledge of all your genes) is important to understand which genetic defects you may have in your genes that could cause a disease now or in the future.

- Answer provided by Dr. Gijs Van Rooijen

How can genomics be used in cleaning up the environment in places like the oil sands?

We are funding a project where genomics is used to find out which microbes are there and what they are doing by looking at the DNA in that environment. Once we know what they do we can stimulate the "good" behaviour such as breaking down toxic hydrocarbons, while inhibiting the microbes that do harm such as producing methane.

- Answer provided by Dr. Gijs Van Rooijen

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