March 7, 2014 11:44 AM
Unlocking DNA Day in Canada for 2014
DNA Day 2014 happens April 29th
Genome Alberta and Let's Talk Science are getting ready for the 4th incarnation of our annual DNA Day on April 29th
DNA Day in Canada is patterned on the U.S. DNA Day with the goal of acknowledging the discovery of DNA's Double Helix
in 1953 by James Watson and Francis Crick, or more accurately the April 1953 publication of their paper
in Nature Magazine. It is also an opportunity to mark the April 2003 announcement of the completion of the Human Genome Project
These 2 events marked a turning point in our knowledge of genetics and in our understanding of the biological blueprint for that incredibly complex organism that we call - 'me'.
The 1953 discovery by Watson and Crick was arguably the most significant biological discovery of the 20th century so it is fitting that we single out a day to raise awareness of genetics. It is one of the days when we offer access to our top genetics experts so Canadians can ask about the complex science but also the many ethical and cultural questions that are being raised.
We want you to join us and ask your questions.
March 5, 2014 2:29 PM
Scholarships Available for Banff Science Communications Program
Science can be hard. Good communications can be just as hard. Effective science communication can really take the cake when it comes to a challenge.
Yet the specialized subject of science communication is rarely tackled as part of journalism degrees or writing courses, and communications is a rare find as part of a science degree. We live in a period of rapid technological changes, huge advances in medical research and treatment, genetic breakthroughs, physics making the main pages of newspapers, and of course the political sticking points found around GMOs, climate change, and evolution.
To make these complex stories easier to understand, science communications is oddly not all about science. There is a strong element of art and craft that comes into play to make a story resonate with the audience.
That spectrum of skills gets the full treatment at the Banff Centre every summer and we have some financial help to offer potential attendees who want to create memorable stories.
March 4, 2014 12:56 PM
Genome Atlantic Names New Director, Business Development
Genome Atlantic is pleased to announce Andy Stone as our new Director of Business Development. Andy joined Genome Atlantic in January, 2013 as Business Development Officer, bringing a BSc and MBA (Management of Innovation) from McMaster University, and over 15 years' experience in technology development and commercialization.
March 4, 2014 8:58 AM
The Violinist’s Thumb – a review
In my house, Wednesday night is science night: I often get a run of three or four science shows on my local PBS channel. While watching one of these shows, I saw a brief interview with author Sam Kean regarding his book, Disappearing Spoon
, about chemistry and the periodic table. When I saw that he also wrote a book called The Violinist’s Thumb
, described as the “stories of science, history, language, and music as told by our own DNA
”, I knew I had to read it.
Is becoming a cat hoarder a viral disease? Can a scientist develop an idea so ahead of its time that it takes a generation before it is accepted? Sam Kean answers these questions and more in The Violinist’s Thumb
February 28, 2014 1:49 PM
Twitter Snips for February 28th, 2014
U.S. based, English speakers are the single largest demographic found on Twitter but that is far from the end of the story. Twitter appears in 612 languages and is the world's 4th most popular social media network (behind Facebook, Goolge+, and YouTube). With approximately 58 million tweets flying around the world every day it is tempting to dismiss the service and being too big to be manageable and with only 140 characters at play in a given posting, too small to be useful.
With some patience, clear goals in minds, and practice with the right tools, Twitter can produce a wealth of targeted information flowing into and out of your accounts.
For instance I use Hootsuite
to manage all the accounts I follow, the 2 accounts I tweet from, and the hashtags or subjects I track for myself and on behalf of Genome Alberta. The basic, free account is useful and worth learning how to use, but I subscribe to the Pro account which offers more analytics, advanced message scheduling, ability to have someone else in the office work from the same account, and to manage other social media accounts such as Facebook and LinkedIn, all from the same interface. It also allows us to more fully integrate feeds from our account so they appear on our web site
and on our GenOmics News pages