Genomics Blog

April 15, 2016 10:44 AM
LISTEN: Real elevator pitches from BioGenius
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On April 2nd young Alberta scientists gathered in Edmonton to compete in the Sanofi BioGenius challenge.
The competition is held ever year to nurture people and ideas focused on biotechnology. Genome Alberta is pleased to be one of the Alberta sponsors and this year we worked closely with Mindfuel to bring you some of the stories from the competition. (you can find all the sponsors on the Biogenius Canada website)
April 13, 2016 11:29 AM
LISTEN: It's not just science, the Biogenius challenge is an experience
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The Sanofi Biogenius challenge is all about biotechnology but it combines mathematics, biology, and chemistry for real projects that can have real world impact. Since 1994, this made-in-Canada competition has paired high school students with university level scientists to carry out research projects in biotechnology. Don't look on the Biogenius challenge as a Science Fair on steroids, but rather look on it as young people pushing the boundaries of their own knowledge while charting an early course for their future.
March 3, 2016 1:10 PM
Moving Genomics out of the Lab and into Society
Most people think about the world of science research as something that happens in isolation inside an Ivory Tower somewhere.
But research is first and foremost about people. People who have the ideas, people who have the initiative to experiment with those ideas, and still have the courage to carry on if the idea fails. Research needs people with all kinds of skills and who understand how their research fits into society.
March 1, 2016 1:43 PM
Genomics on the Hill - A Snapshot of Genomics Research in Canada
On February 22nd Genome Canada hosted Genomics on the Hill which showcased Canada's Genomics Enterprise research in front of 200 guests which included 73 federal MPs, Ministers, and Senators.  This post comes to us courtesy of Brian Jobse who has a PhD in Medical Sciences from McMaster University and was able to attend the event, talk to the researchers, and hear what the attendees had to say.
December 11, 2015 2:24 PM
LISTEN: Student Lightning Competition focuses on bioconversion science and technology
The 6th Annual BCN - AI Bio Conference  took place in Edmonton in November. The event brings together representatives from industry, government, and academia every year to discuss ways to develop and commercialize biomass conversion technologies. It is a high powered collection of people and ideas so it is fitting that students are invited to take part because not only do they bring new ideas to the meeting, they will inherit the consequences of today's technological decisions.
December 11, 2015 1:07 PM
Using Genomics to Build a Greener Future for Coal
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There is a lot of coal left in the world and as an industry it still employs 7 million people. As an energy source however, coal is being phased out in Alberta and in many other countries that are looking for cleaner alternatives.
Bruce Peachey is President of New Paradigm Engineering and he sees things a little differently and believes there a real future for coal if the right technology is applied.
As attendees at the recent BCN - AI Conference in Edmonton heard, that technology incorporates genomics to reduce waste and emissions, and reduce the surface impact of coal mining. 
November 6, 2015 2:02 PM
Gene Expression in Meditative and Yogic Practices
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This is a guest post from freelance writer Susanne Cardwell with Fahri Saatcioglu. He is a professor in the Department of Biosciences at the University of Oslo.

Susanne: Fahri, you compiled research on gene expression by yoga, meditation and related practices in one of your publications. What sparked your interest in yogic and meditative practices and gene expression?

Fahri: Yes, I started practicing yoga and meditation some time ago right after high school. I felt very positive effects from these practices and the people around me, those who experimented with these practices, did also. So, that was the start of my interest with yoga, breathing, and meditation, which became an important part of my daily routine from then on.
During my studies, I got interested in molecular mechanisms of gene expression, so that's what I did starting with my undergraduate project, which became a master's project, and then a PhD project, and from then on, became my chosen field of research, especially as it relates to cancer.
Some years ago--of course, I've been following the research on meditative practices for some time--I thought there was not much happening in this area of gene expression, especially rapid effects of these practices. In other words, what happens when you do a practice--are there some changes in gene expression that happens immediately?
That's how I started to do research in this area, and then I compiled the review article that you read.
October 28, 2015 7:42 AM
Government Relations in Changing Times
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I'm in Edmonton right now co-leading a workshop on the essentials of lobbying. It is a small group with a varied background in the profit and not-for-profit sectors in Alberta and B.C. Most of them probably signed up for the course after the Alberta election results were in and with no idea what was about to happen at the Federal level. And here we are with the Liberals on top federally and Alberta showing off an NDP government - not something anyone at last October's workshop would have predicted.
This has left many in-house government relations staff scrambling trying to get the attention of the new kinds on the block and even veteran government relations experts are having to hone their skills. A consistent message for the workshop so far has been that it isn't all about who you know. Content advocacy is the best way to approach your government relations strategy.
September 28, 2015 1:06 PM
Part-time positions with Genome Alberta
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Genome Alberta is looking for 2 part-time positions to work at our offices in NW Calgary.
We have an opening for a Junior to Intermediate Full-cycle Accountant to work 4 days a week. The successful candidate should be working towards an accounting designation and have a minimum of two years of full cycle accounting experience. If you are someone with strong attention to detail, ability to work independently, desire continuous learning, and are self-motivated, then this position is for you. View the full job posting.

We also have a position available for an Administrative Assistant to work 3 days a week. The position will provide administrative support to the Office Manager, Communications Director, and Program Director. You should have excellent organizational, verbal and written communication, and interpersonal skills. View the full job posting.

We will be accepting applications for this position until October 13, 2015. Please send your cover letter and resume to Mitthua Banks at
August 27, 2015 2:16 PM
LISTEN: Chris McCabe on realizing the value of the genomics revolution
McCabe podcast On June 18th Genome Alberta was one of the sponsors of the mini-symposium Genomics and Personalized Medicine - Health Policy and Barriers to Adoption held at the University of Alberta.
There were 3 speakers at the event and freelance broadcaster Don Hill cornered them all for an interview before they left the event. We posted the interview with Wylie Burke earlier in the summer, and next up we have Chris McCabe, Professor and Capital Health Research Chair in Emergency Medicine Research and one of the lead researchers on our PACEOMICS project.
July 10, 2015 9:47 AM
LISTEN: Wylie Burke on genomics, precision medicine, and healthcare policy
Genomics is not simple. And no, we're not suggesting that is just a problem for Barbie. Understanding the science, the clinical application, and the societal implication of the new science of genomics is indeed hard. Human genetics is a key part of the hope and promise of personalized medicine but it remains a work in progress that has not lived up to the expectations society has pinned to the science.
Genome Alberta has funded a special project that focuses on how personalized (or precision) medicine can or should be incorporated into the health care system.
July 3, 2015 10:55 AM
Speeding up clinical development with better data
BIO2015 podcast with Mats Olsen from Prevail InfoworksThere is no question that in the 21st century data rules in the field of medicine, healthcare, and research. Apart from mistakes and dead-end roads when the data is wrong, companies and researchers need data quickly to get funding, to get drugs approvals, and to get regulatory or financial paperwork done efficiently. Managing that process is a specialty and there are many 3rd party tools and companies with the sole purpose of data management and integration.
It may not have the flair of working in the lab but just try and get things done without it. Mats Olsen knows all about getting the job done. He is SVP, Business Operations with Prevail Infoworks in Philadelphia where BIO 2015 was held in late June. His company made the most of having so many current and potential customers right in their backyard and I caught up with him for a few minutes to learn more about the importance of getting the data right. Here's our conversation.