As 2021 comes to an end, it’s a good time to reflect on the past year and think about what we have to look forward to in 2022. This time last year, many of us were looking forward to putting 2020 behind us – for many, it was a terrible year as we were all impacted by the global Covid-19 pandemic, with family and loved ones getting sick or dying, businesses shutting down and people losing jobs, school closures, lockouts, isolation, etc… While the pandemic isn’t quite over, for many, 2021 was a significant improvement over 2020 with the rapid development of vaccines, declining death rates from the virus, and society starting to open back up as we inch towards getting back to normal.
2021 was also a year where science has been in the spotlight like never before. The mainstream media was covering topics previously only discussed in molecular biology lab meetings and conferences such as mRNA vaccines, new genetic variants, PCR tests, and rapid antigen testing. We’re also now newly informed on concepts ranging from community spread and droplet transmission, to herd immunity and breakthrough infections. As we gather around the dinner table with family and friends over the holidays, these topics will undoubtedly be the centre of focus once discussions about Squid Game and the second season of Tiger King have been exhausted.
There are obviously pros and cons associated with the influx of all this new scientific literacy. A more informed society can lead to more informed medical decisions, and perhaps a new generation of inspired future scientists. The cons of course are related to increased confusion as these complex concepts cannot be fully captured in a newspaper headline or a 140 character tweet, which is unfortunately how many get their news. Also, as flattening the curve required us to endure some inconveniences with wearing masks, social distancing, and getting vaccinated, these measures somehow became political as they were seen as impinging on people’s freedom. This led to a lot of misinformation (no, the vaccine does not contain GPS trackers and does not make you magnetic), which seemed to spread faster than the virus, and makes it difficult to know what’s fact and what’s fake news. It’s definitely been an interesting time!
As I reflect on the past year, I feel as though I have been very lucky to have been able to work with such an amazing team of brilliant interns, researchers, and healthcare professionals as we continuously develop new testing panels, including the recent completion of our fertility add-on to LoveMyHealth-PRO, and the imminent launch of our FeedMyGenes meal plan. We also recently opened our American office in Florida as we look to expand into the United States. As we look forward to 2022, let’s hope we put the pandemic behind us and get our lives back to normal… and for DNA Labs, I very much look forward to launching new panels, updating existing ones, and continuing to work with my awesome team and with our wonderful clients.
Aaron Goldman, PhD
Chief Science Officer