A Chinese scientist claims that he has helped make the world’s first genome-edited babies — twin girls who were born this month. The announcement has provoked shock, and some outrage, among scientists around the world. He Jiankui, a genome-editing researcher from the Southern University of Science and Technology of China in Shenzhen, says that he implanted into a woman an…
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In May of this year, a group of Swedish universities made the decision not to renew their contracts with publishing giant Elsevier.1 To researchers who rely on these journals for their day-to-day work this may seem like a drastic move, but this new stand-off is part of a movement toward an open-access model in publishing research. Sweden is just one of…
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It is one of this country's great scientific achievements. The first drug ever approved that can fix a faulty gene. It's called Glybera, and it can treat a painful and potentially deadly genetic disorder with a single dose — a genuine made-in-Canada medical breakthrough. But most Canadians have never heard of it. A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia spent decades developing the treatment for people born with...
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A prominent U.S. senator turned to genetic testing last month to try to prove her claim that she had Indigenous ancestry. But in assessing Elizabeth Warren’s DNA, the geneticists were forced to use samples from Mexico, Peru and Colombia because there were no samples from American Indigenous peoples in the reference databases. Because the data is missing, Indigenous geneticists Krystal…
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A new medical test called genomic sequencing is a powerful way to test for many medical conditions, but it sometimes doesn’t work as well for some ancestral groups, including Indigenous Peoples. This project held four sharing circle focus groups about this issue with 30 Indigenous participants in the Vancouver, BC area. This video summarizes the issue of inequity in genomic…
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Everyone benefits when our labs and classrooms look more like the Canada we see today. Diverse perspectives bring new ideas and drive creativity in science and research, which lead to innovations that help grow the economy. The next generation of young researchers brings fresh thinking to science problem solving and discovery, which helps keep Canadian research at the forefront of…
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Affordability makes precision health more accessible The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to health care is nearing an end ushering in the era of precision. The future of health care lies in harnessing the power of molecular approaches embodied in modern genomics. Today, sequencing the human genome costs around $1000 and it can be done in just a couple of days. It is…
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Far from a classroom exercise happening behind the walls of the ivory tower, university research is a fundamental component of Canada’s economic health – both today and into the future. Some of our country’s greatest inventions and world-renowned accomplishments, such as canola and insulin, have happened on the nation’s university campuses. Universities in Canada carry the country’s burden of research…
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Mitacs fellows reinforce evidence-informed decision making in Ottawa and Victoria Ottawa, ON and Victoria, BC — Beginning this fall, 23 researchers will undertake one-year placements in the federal and British Columbia governments to apply their expertise to develop policy-based solutions for pressing issues facing Canadians. The researchers, hailing from disciplines as disparate as climate change and quantum imaging, make up the 2018–19…
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Jonathan Page has been around cannabis all his life. Growing up on Canada’s Vancouver Island in the 1970s, he was surrounded by hippie beachcombers and dope smokers. So after earning a PhD in plant biology and phytochemistry, he felt completely at ease working with the plant Cannabis sativa as a postdoc in Germany in the early 2000s. During that time, Page helped…
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