Genomics Blog

October 30, 2015 12:56 PM
LISTEN: Alberta biotech helping to lead the way in economic diversification
Filed Under: | 0 Comments
Podcast with Mel WongIt is National Biotechnology Week in Canada and a chance to shine a light on one of the sources of economic diversification here in Alberta.
Biotech showed the role it can play in diversification earlier this year when Alberta-based Fedora Pharmaceuticals signed a 750 million dollar deal with Meiji Pharma of Japan and Swiss drugmaker Roche, to tackle antibiotic resistance - a deal that would have been nothing but a dream 10 years ago.
The steady growth of biotechnology in Alberta cuts a wide swath across agriculture, human health, and yes, even the energy sector and the as the song goes the future is so bright you might want to wear shades.
Mel Wong took on the role of President and CEO of BioAlberta in August and brings with him a wealth of experience on the government side of biotechnology growth. He spoke with Don Hill to kick off our Biotech Week blog postings and says there are many more opportunities ahead for the sector.
November 24, 2015 8:57 AM
Alberta research promoted by Social Media fundraising
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
Last year, the Ice Bucket challenge became a viral fundraising bonanza for ALS, and that money is now being put to use. Several of my friends got involved and posted elaborate videos of the rush of cold water coming down on their heads. I was anxious at the time that the vast sums of money coming in might not be used appropriately or even accounted for. My fears were put to rest with the recent announcement from the ALS Society of Alberta. They explain that “Albertans raised a remarkable $2.8 million for the ALS Society of Alberta during this social media campaign”. Brain Canada matched funds raised across the country so that a total $21.5 million will be invested in research across Canada.
November 19, 2015 6:43 AM
Editing the editor: CRISPR gets an "undo" button
Filed Under: Lisa Willemse | 0 Comments

How often in life do we wish we had an “undo” feature? A chance to undo a bad decision, or a good decision that somehow went wrong?

Scientists working with the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, may just have been granted this wish. Findings released this week in Nature Biotechnology provide mechanisms to either undo a gene-edited event, or calm their spread through a population.  

CRISPR, and other similar gene-editing techniques, allows segments of DNA to be snipped and removed or replaced, much like a film reel, giving researchers the ability to remove unwanted characteristics or add desirable ones.

November 17, 2015 12:14 PM
Ottawa researchers discover that Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a stem cell disease
Filed Under: News Releases | 0 Comments
A new study from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa is poised to completely change our understanding of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and pave the way for far more effective treatments. 

The study, published in Nature Medicine on November 16, 2015, is the first to show that Duchenne muscular dystrophy directly affects muscle stem cells.
November 15, 2015 8:12 AM
They said, some say
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
This is not a rant; it is more observation and inference. Blogging and tweeting on science topics, especially genomics, evolution or the environment, seems to inspire reader comments and questions. Some of these might subjectively be called ‘trolling’. In this blog I intend to critically examine a couple of the common phrases which trolls exploit to feed public uncertainty: I am looking at variations of ‘they said’ and ‘some say’.
November 9, 2015 2:51 PM
Canadian Queens - Sustaining and Securing Canada's Honey Bees Using ‘Omic’ Tools
Filed Under: News Releases | 0 Comments
Media Release, November 4, Vancouver, BC - Honey bees play a critical role in Canadian agriculture and nationally beekeepers have lost more than a quarter of their colonies each winter since 2006-07. Canadian honey bees produce 75 million pounds of honey each year and are responsible for pollinating numerous fruits and vegetable crops, nuts and oil seeds like canola. The contribution of honey bees is tallied at more than $4.6 billion to the Canadian economy each year.

Given this critical role, the high rate at which bee colonies are dying off is particularly alarming, posing a serious threat to the productivity of Canadian agri-food industries and jeopardizing Canada’s food security. Replacing these losses by purchasing queen bees from offshore, as beekeepers have been doing, risks importing new diseases or invasive strains of honey bees such as “killer” bees, those with Africanized genetics.