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Bloggers-Wikians meeting during ESHG 2011 May 26, 2011

Posted by ramunas in media, personal.

For all those “dna-wiki-blogs” savvy folks, who will be apparently visiting European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) annual meeting from this saturday in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and get to the opening welcome reception at Amsterdam RAI on Saturday, 28th, 20 p.m., this DNA-shadowy man (bellow) on the one of the table should guide to the proper location, where Mike (from SNPedia.org and I will held an informal meeting of <bloggers>, [wiki’ans] etc 🙂 See you there! (amplificate this)


SimpleGenetics(TM) for DNA day April 25, 2008

Posted by ramunas in genetic testing, media, personal, Simple Genetics.

Happy DNA day! This year in Europe we celebrate it for the first time officially. What a coincidence – yeasterday I’ve received gene T-shirt with mapped 1st chromosome from the magazine Science – wearing it all this day:)

On this occasion I would like to introduce you to SimpleGenetics(TM) genetic test reviews – it could be an independent wiki-based resource dedicated to the provision of reviews and unbiased information about commonly available genetic tests, its clinical validity and utility.

The project aims to improve the quality and accessibility of information regarding genetic tests and help to make informed choice decision for physicians and/or patients.

The information would be reviewed and edited by registered clinicians or scientists working in clinical genetic settings.

There is a preference for objective, scientific evidence-based, comprehensive reviews of clinical evidence and appreciate contribution of both genetic testing companies, clinicians and users to satisfy these goals.

I made this draft in February, and there is some information about Mammaprint available already. Let me know what you think about it and future involvement/contribution/etc. possibility.

Check out at SimpleGenetics.com

Let’s go to Spain and Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2008

Posted by ramunas in cancer genetics, media, personal.
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I beg a big pardon for not writing so long – it could lasts till the middle of June, till my final residency (at last) exams – now I’m deep in Emerys&Rimoins Medical Genetics, LDDB, Possum databases etc. Afterwards I hope to concentrate (and work) on my favourite topic – cancer genetics – again.

Before that, I’ll go to Spain – and be in Barcelona during Conference of European Society of Human Genetics (May 31-June 3) and then move to Madrid – to attend biannual Familial Cancer conference (June 5-6, a very good event – thanks organizers for fellowships). If somebody happened to be there – that would be really nice to meet you indeed! (will present my posters in Cancer Genetics section). Also, good ideas where to stay in Barcelona or Madrid are more than welcome 🙂

Happy Earth Day, BTW! And be aware about links of chemical cocktails to cancer.

p.s. recently there was a techy conference about blog’s in my city, and was pleased to have an opportunity to have short talk. Not about genetics or medicine, but green blogs – like Worldchanging, Treehugger and Ekoblogas – a bunch of blogs which I also like to read:

Looking to the cancer genetics future | ICG-FBOC meeting February 20, 2008

Posted by ramunas in breast cancer, cancer genetics, familial cancer, genetic testing, hereditary cancer, media, ovarian cancer, personal.
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Next week I’m going to International Collaborative Group on Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer (ICG-FBOC) meeting (9th symposium) named “Looking to the future cancer diagnostics & treatment: the impact of genetics in Cyprus (Κύπρος), Larnaka (Λάρνακα). There is going to be an extensive programme with the presentations of well known researchers from UK (Manchester, London), Norway and Greece. I look really forward to meeting these people and listen to their presentations.

If anyone of my readers are going to be there – please drop me a note – that will be nice to meet you there.

Pathways in Human Cancer February 2, 2008

Posted by ramunas in cancer genetics, media, prostate cancer.

Monoclonal antibodies company Cell Signaling offers superb free at request-poster of cancer genes/proteins universe landscape, which I recently received. It also accompanies excellent book The Biology of Cancer by RA Weinberg. It is amazing when realize, that genetic variations (SNP’s or mutations) in all of these (and yet unknown) genes can predispose to developing or help to resist cancer as well as other conditions.

Dangers of Gene Patents | American College of Pathologists November 10, 2007

Posted by ramunas in cancer genetics, genetic testing, media, personal.
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Currently over 20% of 25-30000 human genes are patented most of which do not have yet exact function defined. Even more yet are under the way. Research and identification of a new genes predisposing to the cancer, which affects 1 in 4 person in the population, is of high priority worldwide.

Patents for low/medium penetrance susceptibility genes and sequence variants which can serve as genetical markers of all cancers as well as commercialization of common methods for a common germline mutation detections in particular human cancer genes could seriously suspend the wide public availability of such tests, especially in a developing and limited resources countries where current health care system is bellow good quality standards and further make inequalities in the health care service.

This is an excerpt of my opinion, which I’ve published a year ago on BioForgeNet, an open source biological community portal.

This year on Oct. 30 American College of Pathologists submitted a statement Oct. 30 to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee s Subcommittee on Courts, the
Internet and Intellectual Property, stressing that current practices in the patenting and licensing of genetic sequences must be reexamined to ensure that gene-based diagnostic tests are widely available and affordable for the greatest public benefit.
The statement, provided for a hearing titled Stifling or Stimulating The Role of Gene Patents In Research and Genetic Testing, outlined the impact of gene patents on medicine and healthcare and urged support for recently introduced legislation that would prohibit patents from being obtained that would harm patient access, quality of care and training of health providers.
According to the College s statement, when patents are granted, subsequent exclusive license agreements, excessive licensing fees, and other restrictive licensing conditions prevent physicians and laboratories from providing genetic-based clinical testing services.
Consequently, it continues, patient access to care is limited, quality of patient care is jeopardized, clinical observations as the basis for new discoveries are compromised, and training of health care providers is restricted.
The Frist Ganske Law protects physicians from patent infringementlawsuits, but does not extend the same protection to laboratory personnel. The College supports efforts to amend Frist Ganske to provide this protection to pathologists and other laboratory.
The Genomic Research and Accessibility Act, H.R. 977 would prohibit patents from being obtained for a nucleotide sequence, or its functions or correlations, or the naturally occurring products it specifies.
The College declared its support for H.R. 977, and will continue to work with lawmakers on recommendations for legislation that would prevent intellectual copyright protections from limiting laboratory physicians access to genetic information and impeding potential breakthroughs in genomic and proteomic research.

Feel free to express your opinion in a comment field.

GMO and Environment | Blog Action Day October 15, 2007

Posted by ramunas in media, personal.

Today is an International Blog Action Day, when more than 15000 bloggers are blogging about single common issue – environment (and hi-tech journal Wired issued special 15.10 edition). And this blog is not an exception.

I’m an avid proponent of in-vitro biotechnology, when genetically modified organisms (GMO) are used for production of useful enzymes, drugs and materials and are grown in controlled environment. I believe, that bio-assistance, bio-mimicry, neobiological industry, nanotechnolgy will help to solve many of contemporary environmental problems and foster the shift from linear “cradle to grave” to sustainable cyclic “cradle to cradle” closed loop manufacturing principle in industry. But I remain quite skeptical when GM plants are grown in an open field, mainly because of unpredictable impact on ecosystem due to gene flow (and some effect on local economics), and try to buy as much organic/local as can afford. It is also clear now, that organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming in developing countries, and holds its own against standard methods in rich countries (ref).

There were no direct scientificaly sound evidence for the negative GM plants effect on ecosystem which lead to criticism. However, just recently in PNAS October 8th issue published article provides the first unbiased scientific evidence that toxins from GMO Bt corn may travel long distances in streams and may harm stream insects that serve as food for fish.

These results compound concerns about the ecological impacts of Bt corn raised by previous studies showing that corn-grown toxins harm beneficial insects living in the soil (via).

Stream insects are important prey for aquatic and riparian predators, and widespread planting of Bt crops has unexpected ecosystem-scale consequences (abstract).

Bye, bye Monsanto, aren’t you? 🙂 Smart breeding seems to be far more attractive option.

BlogActionDay | October 15 October 4, 2007

Posted by ramunas in media.
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Genes/Genetics are closely related with Environment, and I think every (human) geneticist should be concerned and informed about environmental issues as well. To raise awareness about this topic, on BlogActionDay – October 15 th – thousands of bloggers will join to write about single topic – environment. CancerGenetics won’t be an exception.

Local Biotech September 13, 2007

Posted by ramunas in media, personal.
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Slightly offtopic, but anyway: today I’ve attended some local biotechnology conference about the perspectives of this field in our country and will present some news. There were presentations of several quite known local manufacturers and some from start-ups.

The Fermentas, historically producer of restriction enzymes, but now offering wide range of molecular research/diagnostic tools with offices worldwide, impressed me with a nice NoLimits™ DNA fragments picture (source), which would fit on a T-shirt 🙂

Multiple fast digestion (5 minutes) with FastDigest™ Restriction Enzymes was also something new for me to hear.

Reverse terminator based sequencing ArraySBS (sequencing-by-sequencing) project, developed jointly with Estonian Asper Biotech and Swedish Oligovation may be useful addition for whole genome sampling/sequencing fewer.

Biopharmaceutics producer Sicor Biotech may soon present own chimeric/humanized antibodies for cancer treatment.

Biocentras produces specific microbial strains for remediation of soil polluted by oil and offers this type of cleaning service.

Sorpo diagnostics, mainly involved in viral/microbial disease diangostics, just created SORPOclean™ modules for rapid isolation of DNA or RNA from various clinical specimens and SORPOline™ kits are designed for highly specific and sensitive detection of pathogen DNA/RNA by end-point PCR/RT-PCR.

Still, I think this emerging biotech industry need put more efforts for government lobby, cause its importance is (strangely) underscored (what an ignorance).

Skinny Art | Make Your Own Bio-Sci-Dna Skin September 7, 2007

Posted by ramunas in media.

Have you considered putting a DNA pic, sequence, bio-art or a whole personal genome on your laptop, PC, iPod or even fridge? Just make your own bio-sci-dna design and let the guys from Skins.lt do their best (and they offer free shipping till the end of month, btw) 🙂

[this is a nice picture of my native city Vilnius , listed in UNESCO] (source)