While many Canadian academics were enjoying a bit of time off over the holidays, some early-career researchers were scrambling to put together applications for the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), the new funding program designed to support risky interdisciplinary research. The NFRF was first announced last spring in the 2018 federal budget, with investments of $275 million over five…
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Karen Osborn was supposed to be exploring hidden worlds in the Turks and Caicos, cataloguing the mysterious creatures that thrive in pools connected to the ocean by deep underwater caves. But instead of barcoding blind crustaceans on a trip she’s planned for six months, the marine biologist is stuck at home in Fairfax, Virginia. Osborn is one of roughly 800,000…
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The 47-year-old mother from Tennessee had chosen to forgo traditional cancer treatments for her late stage breast cancer and rely on natural therapies instead. “I am a cancer patient, NOT a chemo patient,” she posted on the online fundraising site GoFundMe. “Chemo is a serious poison” that destroys bones, kidneys and livers, and “decimates” the immune system, she said. So…
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The Globe and Mail recently reported a concerning decision made by the Trudeau government: Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced, with very little fanfare, explanation or evidence, the move to cancel one of the most successful science initiatives in the past 30 years. Ottawa is set to eliminate funding for its Networks Centres of Excellence (NCE) program, which would end…
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For those of us who have been following and working in the cell and gene therapy (CGT) field for a significant number of years, this is an exciting time. The current global market for regenerative medicine is US$36B and forecasted to grow to reach US$49.41B by 2021.1 With 977 clinical trials in cell, gene and tissue therapy underway worldwide at the close of the second quarter of 20182, CGT treatments and regenerative medicine-based technologies…
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Marijuana, long snuck on to college and university campuses for use in bongs and joints, is now being grown legally at several academic institutions across the country. Eight academic institutions have obtained licences from Health Canada to cultivate cannabis for scientific purposes, allowing them to closely study the drug that was legalized for recreational use in October. Some received special…
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“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…
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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…
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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…
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2018 BC Technology Report Card

Together with our partners at KPMG, we have released the latest installment of our BC Technology Report Card for 2018, a comprehensive analysis that compares the BC tech sector against other sectors in the province and against tech sectors in other jurisdictions.
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