Model Organisms is the talk of the city as Vancouver Community College (VCC) and BC Children’s Hospital present their creative new collection at Vancouver Kids Fashion Week (VKFW) for the SS20 season. Model Organisms is the result of a collaboration between students, alumni, and instructors in VCC’s fashion design and production program as well as research scientists in the Healthy Starts theme at BC Children’s…
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A Genetic Explanation for Lymphoma Patients That Cannot Be Cured by Standard Treatment

The most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, known as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), is considered a curable disease with the exception of a subset of patients for whom the standard treatment is not effective. But scientists at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) have uncovered a genetic explanation for why some patients have poor prognosis. Like all forms…
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Metal pollution is a global issue often caused by activities such as mining and smelting operations, industrial production and use, and domestic and agricultural applications of metal-containing compounds. Water that flows through sites contaminated with metals can dissolve and transport toxic levels of metals such as copper, zinc, iron etc. into local waterways, which can be harmful to fish and…
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The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC) has released a new report highlighting the need for strong Canadian leadership to ensure a domestic and international supply of medical isotopes. Patients fighting cancer and other medical conditions all over the world rely on Canada for a safe and stable supply of medical isotopes. This presents a major challenge – and opportunity –…
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New Clarity for Role of Protein-Protein Interaction in Synaptic Plasticity

New research from Dr. Yu Tian Wang’s lab has revealed a novel role for a protein involved in AMPA receptor trafficking, but that also is important for synaptic plasticity. The protein, p97, requires balance to facilitate synaptic transmission; out of balance it blocks long-term potentiation (LTP), a function that strengthens synaptic transmission and neuronal communication. These findings, published this week in the…
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NASA astronaut has studied animals in extreme environments and now she will be the subject of physiology research aboard the International Space Station Jessica Meir has always been interested in how Earth creatures respond to extreme environments, so it makes sense that she is heading to outer space, the most extreme environment of all. The one-time UBC post-doctoral researcher will…
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Amy Inkster is the 2019 winner of the Biology of Sex Differences Best Poster Prize at the recent OSSD meeting in May. This Q&A provides an overview of her research into sex differences in placentas and how this can impact the pregnancy and postnatal outcomes. At the May meeting of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD), Dr…
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Children should have a future, not cancer. But, just before her first birthday, Rory was fighting for her future. Born with a teratoma, a type of tumour in the germ cells, she underwent surgery and fought through related complications. As if cancer surgery wasn’t enough for any child to face, the potentially devastating side effects of chemotherapy treatment would also…
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By bringing genetics into clinical medicine, the University of British Columbia medical geneticist helped to identify the gene mutations responsible for many rare diseases. At a 1978 genetics conference in Montana, Philip Pallister, then the clinical director of the Boulder River School and Hospital, asked medical geneticist Judith Hall and a group of other researchers a rather startling question: Should we dig…
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Breaking Down Cancer with Genomics

“It was like a miracle.” Trish Keating was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010 and after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, she was told in 2013 when her cancer returned that it was terminal. After enrolling in the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) Program at BC Cancer, the team of experts discovered Trish’s cancer was driven by a specific protein. They then…
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