Genomics Blog

September 8, 2014 5:23 PM
What triggers the leaves to turn?
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
Just before the early snow this year, a friend pointed out to me that the poplars in the coulee behind his home always start changing colour on the Labour Day weekend in September. He asked me if genetics were involved. We had already observed that entire clones of poplar trees change at the identical time. Genes must be involved, but I thought that it must be a more complex story than that. I have noticed at this time of year that some of the branches in the mature poplars surrounding street lights seem to change colour at a different time than the rest of the tree. Is it the light? Is it the heat? Could it all be in the genes?
September 12, 2014 2:21 PM
Innovate Calgary’s Tech Showcase 2014
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
This week, it’s time for Calgary’s Beakerhead. This is an event which advances and promotes everyone getting involved in science, engineering, technology and the arts. It turns the city into “a giant laboratory”: in fact, Mayor Nenshi calls it the “stampede for geeks”. Yesterday I attended Innovate Calgary’s Tech Showcase 2014. Now in its 15th year, Tech Showcase is considered part of Beakerhead, and provides an opportunity for early-stage technology companies to compete for startup funding. Innovate Calgary also invited some high school students to be part of their non-competitive ‘youth attractions’.
August 28, 2014 1:14 PM
The Score Lands in Canada's Science Culture
The Score is a play that brings together science, art, music and dance.
It became a movie that earned a Gemini nomination for its photography and music score, a Best Movie of the Week nomination at the Banff Television Awards, and a Leo nomination for  Best Musical Score in a Feature Length Film. And now the obscure 2005 movie has found a spot in the Council of Canadian Academies report on science culture in Canada.
The original play was commissioned in 1999 by geneticist Dr. Michael Hayden of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics and was created by Electric Company Theatre in Vancouver.
August 27, 2014 1:58 PM
Skyler the blue lobster
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
Besides being the first day of school in many places, the other big news today is that 14 year old Meghan LaPlante caught a blue lobster in her trap, named it Skyler, and saved it from the cooking pot by donating it to the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute. Our local newsman jokingly said that there is now a run on blue paint off the east coast as all the other lobsters move to take advantage of this protection.
August 24, 2014 9:18 AM
Why? Variety in dogs, similarities in cats
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
I have always been curious about why members of the cat family, Felidae, all seem very similar. The eyes, the nose, the ears and even some behaviours are remarkably the same. It doesn't matter whether it's a small domestic cat or a big wild cat, they are all clearly cats. At the same time, I look at dogs and see that there are considerable differences between dogs sometimes even in the same litter.

I set out to determine why there is this difference between cats and dogs.

August 13, 2014 9:00 AM
High School students get a jump on research at U of L, U of C, and U of A
Lethbridge, August 13, 2014 -

Six Lethbridge high school students have been learning their way around University of Lethbridge research labs this summer through the Heritage Youth Researcher Summer (HYRS) program.
The HYRS program gives high school students who are entering Grade 12 an intensive six-week experience conducting scientific research in a university lab. There are 50 students in total participating in the program at the U of L, the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary.