Genomics Blog

April 2, 2014 1:34 PM
Livestock Genomics in Alberta - The GE3LS Implications
Filed Under: Mikenomics | 0 Comments
Ranchers using traditional breeding methods to develop livestock with good milk production, which use feed efficiently, produce good tasting meat, or are good mothers at calving time, often wait for several generations to determine of they have found the best breeding crosses. Farmers developing their own crops and determining optimum fertilizer or herbicide inputs have similar challenges and can be derailed by weather conditions. Variations on these practices have been in place for 8,000 years and as a result, today's livestock and crops are very different from the cows, goats, vegetables, and cereal crops that were around when we were becoming more of an agricultural society.
On top of an individual producer's chances of success we're faced with a world population likely to hit 9 billion people in the next 10 to 15 years. That means increasing the food supply by 70% while using less land and less water.
Biotechnology is one way to help deal with the demands of the individual and of the entire population, but with the introduction of biotechnology comes societal, cultural, and economics questions, challenges, and dilemmas.
On April 23rd we invite you to join us at the Delta Airport hotel in Calgary to help identify the challenges and discuss way to deal with them while ensuring a thriving livestock sector that can meet growing food demand.
April 16, 2014 12:45 PM
Svante Pääbo’s Neanderthal Man – a review
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
Have you ever visited a lab where the chief scientist is so excited about their work that they virtually run through the lab showing you everything that is going on? As you move along you nod to the grad students, post docs and research assistants. Then you take a close look at every piece of equipment from the dishwasher on up. You especially concentrate on those pieces that were fabricated specifically for this lab. Well, that is the sense I felt reading Svante Pääbo’s book Neanderthal Man. It was as if I were trying to keep up with him not only on a tour of his lab, but on the journey that took him from curious grad student to the leader of the major world-wide science consortium examining ‘lost genomes’.

April 8, 2014 8:12 PM
LIVESTREAM: Genomics and Personalized Medicine – Health Policy and Value Creation?
Many observers would argue that personalized medicine has not lived up to the promise that accompanied the sequencing of the human genome early in this century. Nevertheless the advent of personalized medicine offers great potential to improve health care, but there are many challenges to its adoption and to get the most out of the new medical tools, tests, and protocols. This mini-symposium will look at the issues and challenges.

The 3 featured presenters are Lou Garrison from the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Washington, Kathryn A. Phillips from the University of California, San Francisco, and David Lee from Health Canada.
April 8, 2014 3:22 PM
Mapping your course to DNA Day
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
In Latin ‘mappa’ described a napkin or a tablecloth and it was on these that an ancient Roman might sketch out a route to another village or even describe exotic parts of the Roman Empire. It was this word usage that made its way to our current word ‘map’ which describes a drawing that shows the positions of things such as countries, rivers, cities, and streets. Maps have also been made of gene positions on a chromosome.

April 1, 2014 2:07 PM
Genomic Scientist Professor Lap-Chee Tsui is the winner of the 2014 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research
Filed Under: News Releases | 0 Comments

Media Release, Toronto, March 24th, 2014 - The Prize, established by Friends of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (FCIHR), in collaboration with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences recognizes leaders of exceptional achievement in science and health policy of international stature.  Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong, will receive the Prize and deliver a Public Forum Lecture on September 17th, 2014 in Ottawa.  In 2015, he will undertake one or more Institutional visits to Canadian universities and health science centres.

March 30, 2014 8:46 AM
What’s in Your Milk?
Filed Under: Gerry Ward | 0 Comments
Someone recently told me that they could comfortably drink and enjoy milk in their homeland of New Zealand, but couldn’t consume our ‘Canadian milk’ at all.

This left me somewhat puzzled. In a previous blog, I noted that many people cannot digest milk as they are lactose intolerant. Early humans were only able to incorporate cow’s milk into their diets after a fortuitous mutation which allowed for them to digest lactose into adulthood. But then, if you are lactose intolerant in Canada, wouldn’t you also be lactose intolerant in New Zealand? Is there something else involved?