Scientists are altering a powerful gene-editing technology in hopes of one day fighting diseases without making permanent changes to people’s DNA. The trick: Edit RNA instead, the messenger that carries a gene’s instructions. “If you edit RNA, you can have a reversible therapy,” important in case of side effects, said Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard,…
Read More
From penicillin to the Tesla Model 3, every great modern invention that has solved a problem plaguing the human condition has faced a significant hurdle – scaling up from the lab bench to meet demand efficiently and cost-effectively, with no loss in quality. As breakthroughs in regenerative medicine continue to make headlines worldwide, research communities are redoubling efforts to develop…
Read More

1000 Simple Words to Improve Science Communication

“A lot of scientific writing can be … dry,” says Dr. James Kryklywy, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Rebecca Todd’s Motivated Cognition Lab. “For most non-scientists, and for a lot of scientists as well, your average research paper isn’t really a fun read.” Inspired by popular web comic XKCD’s Thing Explainer, and motivated by a desire to get complex research ideas…
Read More
Five leading German scientists have resigned from their editorial positions at journals published by Elsevier, the latest step in a battle over open-access and subscription policies between the Dutch publishing giant and a consortium of German libraries, universities, and research institutes. The researchers want Elsevier to accept a new payment model that would make all papers authored by Germany-based researchers…
Read More
Forty years ago, two papers described the first tractable methods for determining the order of the chemical bases in stretches of DNA. Before these 1977 publications, molecular biologists had been able to sequence only snippets. The evolution of DNA sequencing from these nascent protocols to today’s high-throughput technologies has occurred at a breathtaking pace. Nearly 30 years of exponential growth in…
Read More
While looking for a postdoctoral position, Michael Mitchell could have joined any number of small, intimate labs with a couple of colleagues and an ever-present lab leader. Instead, he decided to go big. In 2014, after earning a PhD in biomedical engineering, he accepted an offer from Robert Langer, also a biomedical engineer, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)…
Read More
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has selected Ottawa heart researcher Mona Nemer to be the country’s top scientist. Nemer leaves her position as the vice-president of research at the University of Ottawa after more than a decade to take on the title of Canada’s chief science adviser. The appointment fulfils an election promise and ticks off one of Science Minister Kirsty…
Read More
Almost half of Canadians – 43 per cent –  believe scientific findings are ‘a matter of opinion,’ a poll released Monday shows. At the same time, 81 per cent said that scientific findings were ‘objective facts,’ which means that over a third of the poll’s respondents, 38 per cent, believe both. Those who described themselves as ‘intuitive/gut feel decision-makers’ were more…
Read More
The federal government is spending over $42 million on science and engineering at the University of British Columbia, Canada’s minister of defence announced Friday. Harjit Sajjan, who was speaking on behalf of Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, said the money is going towards “fundamental” research. The money will be distributed through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s…
Read More
When Canada’s scientists and engineers have the opportunity to succeed, they’re able to make the discoveries that lead to ground-breaking innovations, sustainable economic growth and a stronger middle class. The hard work of these researchers also helps new generations of students master the advanced skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow. That is why the Minister of Science, Kirsty…
Read More