Genomics Blog

August 18, 2014 3:03 PM
An Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins: a review
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
In a research report that I submitted to San Diego State University in 1987, I noted that leaders in gifted education advocate that “required readings must include biographies of great men and women as it relates to the burdens of giftedness”. When I spotted Richard Dawkins’ latest book An Appetite for Wonder I thought that I had found the book that meets the required criteria. I was hoping that I could suggest this book as a must-read for your students. Dawkins, after all, gave us the Selfish Gene and contributed the word ‘meme’ to our language.
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.
August 10, 2014 9:50 AM
Ebola Treatment – Canadian Science Contributes
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
I just watched a BBC news clip on Ebola. The reporter enthusiastically paced in front of a small building in an industrial district of San Diego. He reported that the Ebola experimental therapy had been developed in this ‘most unlikely of places’. This untried drug was actually the result of an international collaboration, with a major role played by Canada’s Public Health Agency – National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg. NML’s role was no surprise to me, as the scientists there have already made major contributions to health sciences. In 2009, I noted on this blog that they were the first to sequence H1N1. Now, they have contributed two of the three monoclonal antibodies used in ZMapp, the drug under development to treat Ebola patients.
August 6, 2014 9:19 AM
Researchers Develop Food Safety Social Media Guide
Media Release, Raleigh, North Carolina, August 4, 2014 -
To help protect public health, researchers from North Carolina State University have developed guidelines on how to use social media to communicate effectively about food safety.

“In a crisis context, the framework can be used by health officials, businesses or trade organizations affected by foodborne illness to help them reach key audiences with information that could be used to reduce the risk of foodborne illness,” says Dr. Ben Chapman, an associate professor at NC State whose research focuses on food safety and lead author of the paper outlining the guidance. Key audiences may include consumers, the food service industry, and corporate or government decision makers, among others.