A new initiative is going to make Manitoba a hub for genetic technology.
Genome Prairie is a not-for-profit group and it cooperates with Winnipeg's Red River College. It created a plan called Genome 360. Genome 360 wants to put genetic sequencing technology in the hands of students, farmers, and health workers.
Genome Prairie chief scientific officer Simon Potter said that it can be very beneficial to bring the power of genomics into the hands of the general populace.
Genome Prairie receives funding from federal grants, which are aimed at the development of genetic research in the province. Thanks to a partnership with Genome Prairie, Winnipeg's Red River College will be the first educational institution to have a device for next generation sequencing. The equipment can improve DNA mapping and can open up new possibilities in medicine.
NGS is the future in the study of oncology and other complex and rare diseases. NGS will allow students to learn technology and, because it is mobile, use it anywhere —in clinics, on farms, in remote communities or laboratories.
The Manitoba Canola Growers Association will also see benefits from using NGS. With its help, they will be able to track pests that affect agriculture. Instead of taking samples in the field and bringing them to the laboratory, soon testing can be done on site.
By studying the genetic composition of plants and insects, farmers can develop new products and methods for controlling pests and weeds.
The college hopes that starting from summer 2019 the device will be available for use.