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Can meditation really change your life?  What is mindfulness? What is MBSR?

Find out answers to these questions and more when you tune in to our program.  In the last episode, we explored the science behind mindfulness and learned about the extraordinary health benefits associated with meditation.  Today, we will visit with a meditation instructor who will share some of her mindfulness techniques.

 

This show aired live on Wednesday, May 11th at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

 

About Our Guest:

Gena Bean is the founder of MindfulBoston, a meditative arts institute headquartered in Cambridge, MA.  Gena focuses on the format of mindfulness that she learned at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness.  Gena has been teaching stress reduction techniques since 2004.

 

About the Producer and Host:

Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional tests fail.

 

Our Show was Made Possible By:

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green, Lauren Hogan, and Ya Gao (editing).

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617)433-7874.

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Can meditation really change your life?  Can mindfulness improve your brain?  Can it alter your DNA expression?

 

Find out answers to these questions and many more when you tune in to our program.  In this two-part series, we will explore the science behind mindfulness.  In part two, we will visit with a meditation instructor who will share some of her mindfulness techniques.

 

 

This show aired live on Wednesday, April 13th at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

 

About our Guest:

Sara Lazar pro pic

Sara W. Lazar, PhD is an Associate Researcher in Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She researches the neural mechanisms of yoga and meditation, both in clinical settings and in healthy individuals. She has practiced yoga and meditation since 1994. Her research has been covered by numerous news outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, and WebMD.

 

About The Host and Producer:

Pro Pic 2015

Kayla M. Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional paternity/maternity tests fail.

 

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green and Lauren Hogan are interns at the Master of Science Program in Genetic Counseling at the Boston University School of Medicine.

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617)433-7874.

Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Newborn Screening, Rare Disease.

Testing a newborn’s DNA could identify health risks, providing an early alert for parents and health providers. What are parents’ experiences with learning this information?

 

 

Short on time?  Here’s a teaser:

 

 

A research project at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital is exploring what may be the next generation of newborn screening.  Researchers of the BabySeq Project are inviting local babies to be some of the first to get all 23,000 of their genes sequenced and learn results about childhood-onset conditions.  Through a randomized controlled trial, healthy newborns and sick newborns being treated in the NICU will gain access to sequencing, and at no cost.

 

What will the parents do with the information?  Will it be useful to their pediatricians?  How do these genetic test results compare with standard newborn screening tests?  How soon can we anticipate commercial labs offering this test?  Find out by joining us on channel 9 or on our YouTube channel.

 

Join us on Wednesday March 23rd at 6:30 pm, on CCTV (Cambridge Channel 9).

This show will also be available here (link to be provided) within one week of taping.

 

 

About our Guests:

Maggie Helm pro pic

 

Maggie Helm obtained her Bachelors in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience from Colby College and her Masters in Genetic Counseling from Brandeis University. After graduating, she worked as a prenatal genetic counselor at Women & Infants Hospital. Maggie helped manage several projects with G2P looking at the use of genomic sequencing by healthy individuals. She is the project manager and genetic counselor for the BabySeq project, a randomized control trial exploring the use of genomic sequencing in newborns.

 

A&S graduate, photographed for an Arts & Sciences web slideshow. Meghan Connolly Towne, A&S '07, at 3 Blackfan Circle, Boston.

 

Meghan Towne obtained her Bachelors in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry from Boston College and a Masters in Genetic Counseling from Boston University.  She has since been working at The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research at Boston Children’s Hospital and has helped shape the Center into a world-wide model for rare disease research.  She is the outgoing project manager for the Boston Children’s Hospital site of the BabySeq project.  She also serves as a coordinator of the Research Seminar Series of the Boston University School of Medicine Genetic Counseling graduate program.

 

About The Host and Producer:

Pro Pic 2015

 

Kayla Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional paternity/maternity tests fail.

 

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green and Lauren Hogan are interns at the Master of Science Program in Genetic Counseling at the Boston University School of Medicine.

 

Special thanks to Tracy Menoza, Catherine Coste and Dita Obler, LCGC, for insights and inspiration.

 

For Private Genetic Counseling, contact us via email (contact@vibrantgene.com) or phone at (617)433-7874.

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Need a moment to catch your breath? Allow Dan to walk you through a 5 minute guided relaxing meditation. This meditation is especially great if you have tired feet or have overly exerted yourself.

 

Why are we promoting meditation? Stress impacts your genes and how they function, a process also known as epigenetics. Taking time to rejuvenate your mind and body will also help promote your genetic wellness.

 

A bit about our beloved yoga instructor, Dan.

 

Dan Boyne, RYI-500, M. Ed., has studied and practiced mind-body disciplines for over two decades, including various forms of yoga, martial arts and dance. He is also a published author and freelance writer. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harvard Magazine, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and Cape Cod Life.

 

You can catch classes with Dan at Om Namo Yoga Studio in Belmont, MA, or at Healthworks Fitness in Cambridge, MA.

Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Genetics as Preventative Care, Vibrant Gene, Zika virus.

The Zika virus has been declared an international public health emergency, with outbreaks across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Now the virus is in our own backyard.

 

Did you miss it live?  Here’s the recording on our YouTube station:

 (Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel!)

 

How can you protect yourself from infection?  Planning a pregnancy or already pregnant and needing advice?  Is it safe to make travel plans for spring break?  Confused by conflicting information?  Tune in to THE VIBRANT GENE talk show for reliable, understandable answers.

 

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About Our Guest:

Dee Quinn is the Director of the Arizona Pregnancy Riskline since it began in 1999.  She served as President of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) from 1999-2001 and Executive Director from 2005-2012.  She is a board-certified genetic counselor and Clinical Lecturer in the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Arizona.  Ms. Quinn teaches genetics and teratology (the study of birth defects and prevention) to medical students, residents, and other allied health professionals.    Since coming to the University of Arizona in 1989, she has provided prenatal and teratology counseling.  She received a BSN degree from the University of Bridgeport and her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Sarah Lawrence College.

 

 

Pro Pic 2015

About The Host, Producer:

Kayla Sheets is a board-certified, licensed genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional paternity/maternity tests fail.

 

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green and Margaret Emmet, are interns at the Master of Science Program in Genetic Counseling at the Boston University School of Medicine.

 

Special thanks to Beth Kim, Anna Gilbert and Ernest de Lagarde for insights and inspiration.

 

Additional information on Zika-related health issues:

1. International travel alerts:
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-information

2. Find the most effective mosquito repellent:
http://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-insect-repellent-right-you

3. Additional information about pregnancy and Zika:
www.mothertobaby.org Toll-free 1 (866) 626-6847

4. How to have a healthy pregnancy:
www.vibrantgene.com

 

We have received overwhelmingly positive responses from viewers about our new show.  Thank you for your comments and wonderful feedback!  Have a suggestion for a future program?  Connect with the host, and join Vibrant Gene’s e-community on FB, TwitterLinkedIn.

 

 

 

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Gene Editing was one of the hottest genetic news topics in 2015.  A simple, powerful emergent technology (called CRISPR-Cas9) made this once elusive goal suddenly a reality for nearly any laboratory.

 

Find out how a laboratory at Harvard University is using gene editing to treat mice with a genetic muscle disease (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy).

Join us on channel 9 in Cambridge, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 6:30pm EST.   Not living in Cambridge, or you don’t have a TV?  No worries, you can find it on our YouTube station a day or so later.

 

 

Sharif Tabebordbar pro pic

About our guest:

Dr. Sharif Tabebordbar is a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Amy Wagers at Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology.  His research is focused on improving stem cell-based therapies and producing novel gene therapy for treating genetic muscle diseases.  He is also a co-organizer of Strength, Science and Stories of Inspiration, an annual event aimed at raising awareness for muscle diseases, facilitating interactions between stakeholders in the neuromuscular disease community and inspiring the next generation of scientists to join the fight.

 

 

Pro Pic 2015

About the host:

Kayla Sheets is the producer and host of THE VIBRANT GENE.  She is a genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing to confirm relationships when traditional paternity/maternity tests fail.

 

Production Assistants:  Hayley Green and Margaret Emmet, are interns at the Master of Science Program in Genetic Counseling at the Boston University School of Medicine.

 

A special thanks to Beth Parks and Beth Kim for their key insights.

 

We have received overwhelmingly positive responses from viewers about our new show.  Thank you for your comments and wonderful feedback!  Have a suggestion for a future program?  Connect with the host, and join Vibrant Gene’s e-community on FB, TwitterLinkedIn.

Posted by & filed under Chimerism, Direct-to-Consumer DNA Testing, Paternity Testing, Uncategorized, Vibrant Gene.

Vibrant Gene Consulting is one year old!  It has been a wonderful year, and we have many of you to thank for our success.  Here are the highlights of our year in review.

 

RESEARCH BREAKTHROUGHS

Human head and icons of science. The concept of scientific discoveries. The idea of learning. Modern technological solutions

We were honored that our research involving a father with human chimerism was accepted to be presented at two prestigious conferences: International Symposium for Human Identification (ISHI)  and The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG).  My colleagues and I were elated when the story was picked up by BuzzFeed, it reached the far corners of the world…before being published!  What a rush!

This research was particularly important because it underscores some of the ways in which our current DNA paternity (and maternity) testing can go awry.  It also points to creative ways to identify chimeric individuals, and how this cutting-edge DNA testing can save relationships.  I learned first-hand that false negative DNA tests are out there, and they can have tremendous repercussions on families and relationships.  We have since been contacted by concerned individuals from across the globe.  We aim to publish this story in a scientific journal this spring.  Stay tuned!

Lastly, the first purported case of chimerism we consulted was published in AILA, “Navigating DNA Testing in Immigration Cases” (2015); and is slated for publication in Nexus this Spring (2016).

 

PUBLIC EDUCATION and OUTREACH

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Thanks to the power of social media we reached out to a growing number of people, helping to inform folks of the latest genetic health news.  We are proud to have bypassed a number of social media milestones this year including:

We were delighted to receive invitations to collaborate in new and exciting ways with new companies.  Start-up companies seeking genetic advice, and outsourced genetic counseling services reached out to us.  Two start-ups extended invitations to act as an advisory board member, which was quite an honor.  We were successful in contracting services for two start-up genetic testing companies.

We contributed to the education of the next generation of genetic counselors by guest lecturing.  Brandeis University and Boston University‘s Genetic Counseling training programs both invited founder Kayla Sheets to speak with their students.  The New England Regional Genetics Group (NERGG) also invited her to share in her experience as an independent genetic counselor.

We continue to serve the genetic counselors of Massachusetts in two ways: First, by acting as the vice-chair of the Genetic Counseling Board of Registration, and second by creating and managing a private FaceBook page to help facilitate communicating about issues facing the contingency.

Many genetic counselors showed a growing interest in learning about private practice services, and thus we co-founded (with colleague Matt Tschirgi) an online, free Special Interest Group, that now has over 65 members.

We were also delighted to contribute genetic counseling material for Merle Bombardieri’s new edition of, “The Baby Decision: How to Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life.” (To be printed in 2016).

Lastly, we were thoroughly inspired by making a guest appearance on Dr. Christiane Northrup’s radio show, “Flourish!” and answering questions from live callers.  The experience inspired possibly the biggest outreach endeavor yet, a bi-monthly local TV talk show on CCTV, THE VIBRANT GENE, which focuses on genetic health.  Each episode features one local expert in genetic research, genetic healthcare, or mindfulness.  Recordings of the show are also made available on our website each week.

 

PERSONALIZED CARE

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In 2015, we  received referrals for clinical services from a breadth of sources.  From attorneys to fellow genetic counselors to doctors at major hospitals to acclaimed authors and health educators.  Thank you for getting the word out about our unique services, and for the honor of helping your clients gain the insights they needed.

2015 was a year full of clinical care success stories!  Here we will share the highlights of a few of the stories, of course sans any identifiable details.  We were able to help individuals concerned about a false negative paternity test get a second assessment, and when appropriate, follow-up testing.  We aided a couple interested in international adoption of a baby with special needs to make a life-changing decision (all within a 48 hour window!)  We helped couples to conceive in a conscious way, with optimal health for themselves and their pregnancy by providing important genetic health information and testing from reputable companies before becoming pregnant.  Other couples who were already pregnant but lacked access to genetic counseling care received our attention and TLC.  Individuals with at-home genetic testing results were able to get professional care and were able to make proactive choices about their lifestyle.

None of these individuals would have gotten the proper care they needed had it not been for an astute referral, or by their being proactive.  For this, we give special thanks to our regular referring partners:

We also received a surprising number of self-referrals from many States across the US, and the following countries: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, China, Costa Rica.  If you referred yourself to us for services, we thank you for your insight and for being proactive about your health!

Thank you to the following individuals for sharing your great wisdom: Steve and Pamela S, Dr. Christianne Northrup, Dr. Richard Donahue, Maddy G,Tracy M, Ana M, Christi A, Anne DL, Beth K, Aki M, family members and my life partner Kiril.

We look forward to an eventful, collaborative 2016.  Glad to have you on board!

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under CCTV's THE VIBRANT GENE talk show, Genetic Counseling For Heritable Cancers, Genetics as Preventative Care.

Janette Lawrence                                KSheets Alt Pro Pic 2015

         Guest: Janette Lawrence                                                                          Host: Kayla Sheets

 

Have you, your family or friends ever had cancer?  We dedicate this show to you.

 

In this episode of THE VIBRANT GENE, we spoke with Janette Lawrence about genetic counseling for cancer prevention.  Janette shared her expert opinion of Angelina Jolie’s story.  Janette also provided us with key insights about cancer, and when to be concerned something could be hereditary (passed on in the family).    You will gain important insights about when you might want to contact a genetic counselor who specializes in cancer.

 

Join us on channel 9 in Cambridge, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 6:30pm EST.  

 

About our guest:

Janette Lawrence has provided clinical care as a genetic counselor for over a decade.  At the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cancer Center she offers her counseling services for a variety of cancer predisposition syndromes. She is a bilingual Spanish-English speaker, having grown up in Puerto Rico. Janette received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Rutgers University, and her master of science in Genetic Counseling from Brandeis University.

 

About the host:

Kayla Sheets is the producer, and host of THE VIBRANT GENE.  She is also a genetic counselor and founder of Vibrant Gene Consulting, a concierge practice located in Cambridge Massachusetts.  Kayla is specialized in taking genetic insights and translating them into greater health and wellness for her clients.  She also provides expert advice about parental DNA testing for paternity/maternity and confirming relationships when traditional testing fails.

 

We have received overwhelmingly positive responses from many viewers about our debut show.  Thank you for your comments and wonderful feedback!  To connect with the host, join Vibrant Gene’s e-community on FB, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

 

To view this episode, click below:

 

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Medicine’s best kept secret: Genetic Counseling

 

How could this essential service help you and your family?  Why is this field not better well known?  When should you seek genetic counseling for mental health conditions?  Tune in to find out more…

 

 

 

Host: Kayla Sheets                                                       Guest: Jehannine Austin

 

Pro Pic 2015  Jehannine Austin

 

 

We are honored to welcome Dr. Jehannine Austin, President of the National Society for Genetic Counselors.  She is the founder of the world’s first specialized psychiatric genetic counseling clinic.  Jehannine is an associate Professor in Psychiatry and Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

 

To get a preview of Jehannine’s vision for the future of genetic counseling, visit her presidential address to NSGC.

 

What’s the hottest news in genetic health care and research breakthroughs in Cambridge, MA?    Stay on the cutting-edge with THE VIBRANT GENE.  Our bi-monthly talk show features local experts in the fields of genetics, preventative medicine and mindfulness.  There is much misinformation about genetics on the web, don’t get caught in the muck!  We aim to provide you with simple answers from reputable sources.  This show will help you gain valuable insights to optimize your health and the health of your family.

 

All shows are recorded live at the CCTV studio, in Cambridge, MA on Wednesdays at 6:30pm EST.  Shows are also available on our YouTube station: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCER-HlPrpac1wMdcKcYyXUA/feed

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

 

Youtube art via canva

 

Want the latest news in genetic wellness? Gain valuable insights for exceptional health. Stay on the cutting-edge with THE VIBRANT GENE. Our bi-monthly talk show features local experts in the fields of genetics, mindfulness and preventative medicine. We aim to provide you with simple answers from reputable sources.

All shows are recorded live at CCTV in Cambridge, Massachusetts, every other Wednesday at 6:30pm EST.

Also available after air date on our YouTube station:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCER-HlPrpac1wMdcKcYyXUA/feed

Our show is educational in nature but does not replace the TLC of a healthcare provider.