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DNA methylation is a biological process that involves the chemical modification of DNA with methyl groups at specific regions of a chromosome. DNA methylation and demethylation change the processes associated with turning on and off genes. Changes in DNA methylation patterns can be influences by environmental forces which are recorded at the molecular level and give rise to the “epigenetic clock”. In collaboration with UltraSpec Lab, a Canadian BCbased
company, we propose to develop a new method to predict an individual’s “biological” age based on changes recorded in their epigenetic clock. We hypothesize that a difference between chronological and biological age (determined from the epigentic clock) will be predictive of early onset age-related diseases. Our biological age predictor will be determined using a blood sample and can be incorporated by clinicians as part of a standard annual
checkup. This test in combination, with other health measures can be used to determine an individual’s overall health and will allow clinicians initiate early disease intervention with the goal to reducing death rates and medical costs. Our biological age predictor will be validated by our partner company (UltraSpec Lab) and commercialized in Canada.
Professional, scientific and technical services
University of Victoria
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