The holiday season is upon us, and as research begins to slow towards the end of the year, we too will be taking a short break to prepare for the new year ahead. The Science in Vancouver website will be dark for the remainder of the holiday season, but will return as your source for local life science news on…
Read More
Red blood cell concentrate is the highest-demanded blood product in North American healthcare. Donated red blood cells are an extremely precious resource and there is currently no way to test for blood quality without breaching the sterility of the blood bag. Other than a visual inspection, most available techniques are destructive and require sampling of the bag. In a study recently…
Read More
Purpose High-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH) has a poor outcome after standard chemoimmunotherapy. We sought to understand the biologic underpinnings of HGBL-DH/TH with BCL2rearrangements (HGBL-DH/TH-BCL2) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) morphology through examination of gene expression. Patients and Methods We analyzed RNA sequencing data from 157 de novo germinal center B-cell-like (GCB)-DLBCLs, including 25 with HGBL-DH/TH-BCL2, to define a gene…
Read More
A new data centre at Simon Fraser University will bring together researchers to better understand and combat drug-resistant superbugs. The university officially opened the new Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute, or Canssi, headquarters at the Burnaby campus on Friday. The Canssi headquarters, at SFU’s Big Data Hub, is described by university staff as a “statistical and data science powerhouse” for researchers studying everything from climate…
Read More

Grizzly Bear Genome Sequenced for the First Time by Scientists at the GSC

Among the largest predators in the country, the Grizzly bear now has another claim to fame: the most complete genetic map for its species. Within 37 pairs of chromosomes composed of about 2.3 billion nucleotide base pairs, scientists have now revealed the location of 19,848 coding genes, 7,061 non-coding genes, 3,671 pseudo-genes, and more, within the Grizzly genome. The Grizzly…
Read More
The results presented in this manuscript demonstrate the role for the IL13 receptor Rα2 in mediating repair of injured airway epithelium. The authors also demonstrated that the expression of IL13Rα2 is dramatically and significantly reduced in the airway epithelium of asthmatic individuals. This provides insight into the historical findings of epithelial damage and inflammation, in particular elevated IL13, in asthma. It may not be appropriate to block or absorb IL13 in asthma therapies, instead facilitating repair of the airway epithelium via IL13 becomes a new target for novel therapeutics.
Read More
“Federal agency racks up big expenses after scientists reject web meetings” is the kind of click-bait headline that will get your attention. The CBC news story, based on an Access to Information request, revealed that the Canadian Institutes of Health Research was spending “$2,600 a day on meals and refreshments” and even more on “travel and hospitality.” All told, CIHR spent $4.7-million…
Read More
The federal government has launched a new $275-million pot of funding for “high-risk” scientific research. The first tranche of funding is open to researchers with five years or less experience, with grants overseen by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. It hopes to inspire high-risk unique projects that defy current research models or use different perspectives to…
Read More

GMOs: Scientific or Social Uncertainty?

Genetic engineering is the process of altering the blueprints of an organism in order to effect some desired change. Since its discovery in the 1970s, this technology has been used to advance research, industry, medicine, and agriculture. However, using genetic modification to engineer the food we eat has been an ongoing contention. Biological systems are complex and interconnected, and some…
Read More
Read the Publication This week we profile a recent publication in Cell Reports from Amanda Haage (fourth from left) and the laboratory of Dr. Guy Tanentzapf (centre) at UBC. Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus? Our lab uses cutting edge genetics, imaging, molecular and quantitative approaches to understand how cell junctions contribute to the…
Read More