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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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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