Genome Alberta's Official Newsletter


Genome Alberta Newsletter GenOmics - May 4, 2010

Volume 2 Issue 3
The Genome Alberta newsletter for the Omics Generation
- May 4, 2010 - 

In this Update:

  • Genomics News
  • GenOmics Top Stories
  • Found on Twitter
  • Events
  • GE3LS Digest
  • -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Genomics News

    Two New Science Competitions for 2010

    Genome Canada has released initial details about the $75 million it received for genomics funding in the 2010 Federal Budget.
    There will be two new competitions for funding:

    • $24 million in funding will support Science &Technology Innovation Centres or platforms
    • Allocation of up to $60 million for a combined open/targeted competition for large scale genomics projects
    In the open and targeted competitions, $30 million will be directed to research in the areas of forestry and the environment and up to $30 million in support of strategically important research in agriculture, fisheries and human health. Competition guidelines including eligibility and selection criteria will be available in May.

    Interested researchers or research institutions can contact Genome Alberta's Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Gijs van Rooijen at or call 403-503-5220.

    Livestock Research Funding Reminder

    Genome Alberta has received 4.8 million dollars in funding from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) to invest in livestock genetics research to help improve the health, reputation, and quality of Alberta's livestock.

    This Competition is open to researchers based at provincial, national or international research institutions and private industry, but must be led or co-led by an Alberta or Canadian Investigator. Genome Alberta will fund a maximum of $500K (Cdn) per Research Project. All proposed research projects must be collaborative and must clearly demonstrate support from, and benefit to, end users. Genome Alberta is accepting Letters of Intent until May 17, 2010. The Guidelines and the Letter of Intent template can be downloaded by clicking on the links.

    For more on the research competition you can contact Gijs van Rooijen, Chief Scientific Officer directly at Genome Alberta at

    Alberta Livestock Genomics Program Manager

    Julie Stitt will join Genome Alberta on a contract basis to manage the new research initiative launched by Genome Alberta and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. Julie is a well known name in the livestock sector and we are pleased to have her join us. You can contact Julie at

    Alberta Innovates Makes New Appointment

    Gary Albach is the new President and CEO for Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures. Gary has more than 30 years of forming and managing high technology companies, developing global partnerships and platform technologies, and was founding Executive Director of nanoAlberta. He was the interim CEO for Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures and in announcing his permanent appointment Ron Triffo Chair of the AITF Board said, “ he will help AITF achieve its goals, ranging from growing small and medium sized enterprises to helping to provide an Alberta-wide innovation network”.

    Genome Alberta is looking forward to working with Gary Albach in his new role.

    Science, Social Controversy, and Art

    Tim Caulfield has launched another initiative to bring together science and society via the art world. To set the stage for the project, interested artists, researchers and writers got together in Banff last week. The agenda covered a wide range of topics including:

    • Bioethics, Biotechnology and Books: What Michael Crichton and Rebecca Skloot can Teach us all
    • Who owns your Whole Genome Sequence?
    • Film, Television and Biomedical Science: Rethinking the Nature of Portrayals and their Effects on Audiences
    Many of the participants in the Imagining Science Project will be part of this latest endeavour along with many new faces.

    Like Imagining Science, the translational activities will also be significant, with preliminary work being first featured at the Stem Cell Network 2010 Annual General Meeting in Calgary next November. This will then be followed by two large group exhibitions, the first of which will take place at the Glenbow Museum, Western Canada's largest museum, next spring. The second will take place in Toronto in association with the International Society for Stem Cell Research's (ISSCR) Annual General Meeting in June 2011, and both exhibitions will be opened by public panel presentations featuring a mix of project participants. The project will also be producing a project catalogue featuring the work of all participants, and its launch will be coordinated with the opening of the Glenbow exhibition.

    Latest Edition of Canadian Bioinformatics Help Desk Newsletter


    GenOmics Top Stories

    GenOmics can be found at and is definitely the place to go for the latest in stories from around the world related to GenOmics and some of the other ‘omic’ sciences. And starting sometime in the next week or two, you will be able to get the news site directly on the Genome Alberta web site as well. If you subscribe to several life science news site or service such as Genome Web, BioSmartbrief, Science Daily, then you may want to either switch to GenOmics or add it to your regular ‘net routine. We compile stories from all over, add related images and video, to create a good value-added package. We also push the information back our through many other online resources so you may want to add your own stories as well. For more information visit the site at or contact Genome Alberta’s Communications Director at

    And coming next week will be the new look version of the site with a cleaner look, more flexibility, a calendar function and many other new features.


    Found on Twitter

    Here are a few found objects from the 140 character Twitter world and if you check our blog pages you’ll find even more links of interest.


    BIOConvention    BIO 1x1 Partnering is setting RECORDS 14,000+ Meetings, 95k+ requests, 2000+ companies! You need to be in Chicago! #BusinessForum #Bio2010

    @digitalbio Developing a "Biotechnology Friendly" Workforce  

    @calliopeblogger Just had a fantastic meetup with newly found family thanks to @23andMe relative finder program. Spent afternoon sharing family trees.

    @EnvBCBC premier offers oil spill help - Environment Ministry workers can help - BC has expertise in this area -

    @nytimesscience In Darwin Family, Evidence of Inbreeding’s Ill Effects

    @ScienceCalendar May 4, 1825-Birthday of biologist Thomas Huxley, 1st to suggest that birds are descended from dinosaurs.

    Here’s a rundown of this week’s featured Tweets:

    • @PR4Science works in science communication and lives in Victoria B.C.
    • @BIOConvention is one of the many online tools used the annual BIO Convention which is being held this year in Chicago
    • @digitalbio is Sandra Porter who teaches how to use bioinformatics to study biology
    • @calliopeblogger calls herself an "Amazon woman (who) blogs about her adventures in infertility, single motherhood and all things plaid."
    • @EnvBC belongs to Environment Business Insider
    • @nytimesscsience is Science, Enviornment, Space and Cosmos News From
    • @ScienceCalendar The daily Calendar of Science is a service of Pacific Science Center


    GE3LS Digest

    For more information about GE3LS Digest, please visit

    DNA Is a Pre-existing Condition – March 31, 2010

    The din and furor of the last few days of the health care bill debate obscured a headline of potentially more importance to human health. Manufacturers of DNA sequencers announced that the cost of a complete human genome sequence had fallen to $50,000, and is on a path to $5,000 in less than two years. Considering that the first human genome sequence cost around a hundred million dollars just a few years ago -- this is startling progress. Sequencing the genome of a single human has gone from the cost of a small space mission to the cost of a nice automobile, and will soon rival the cost a home entertainment system. Even computer technology did not advance this fast! The first benefits show up in the pace of biology research. Labs can undertake projects that were simply too daunting in cost and time just a year ago.

    Practical Science: President Announces Appointees for Bioethics Commission – April 8, 2010

    Yesterday President Obama announced his appointees to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The 10-member list encompasses individuals with a wide breadth of knowledge, as well as deep experience in the clinical, legal, and advocacy worlds. The range of skills in this group will allow them to tackle the expansive set of issues laid out in the Executive Order creating the commission, which included stem cells, neuroscience, and the intersection of science and human rights.
    Most importantly, the commitment to including leading minds from “bioethics, science, medicine, technology, engineering, law, philosophy, theology,” and the social sciences underscores President Obama’s desire to craft ethical scientific policies that are pragmatic and solve real problems facing U.S. citizens. They will address questions that knit together policies for expanding scientific innovation, expanding access to quality health care, and protecting citizens from harm.

    Montreal researchers use man's own stem cells in bid to fix his failing heart – April 13, 2010

    When doctors performed a coronary artery bypass on a Montreal man with a failing heart, they added a little something else before closing up his chest - stem cells purified from his bone marrow that they had removed earlier that day. Jean-Paul Tremblay, a 59-year-old construction worker, is believed to be the first patient in Canada to have his heart injected with his own stem cells while having open-heart bypass surgery for chronic heart failure, said Dr. Nicolas Noiseux, a cardiac surgeon at Universite de Montreal.
    "No research team in the country had implemented such a complete treatment process, going from harvesting stem cells in the patient, treating them and injecting them directly into the myocardium (heart muscle)," said Noiseux, co-principal investigator of a study on the experimental treatment



    We have a new Calendar of Events page on our website at that will give you both a Calendar view by month and a list of specific upcoming events. If you have an event you’d like included in the calendar or in our newsletter, send the information to  Here are a few events you might want to note on your own calendar.

    The GEEE! in Genome
    May 1, 2010 –September 5, 2010
    Prince George, British Columbia

    Alberta Bovine Genomics AGM
    May 11-13
    Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire , Calgary, Alberta

    14th Human Genome Meeting 2010
    May 18-21, 2010
    Le Corum, Montpellier, France

    Ten Years After: Mapping the Societal Genomics Landscape
    May 27-28, 2010
    Amsterdam, Holland

    Beyond the Genome: The true gene count, human evolution and disease genomics
    October 11-13, 2010
    Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts


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