UBC scientists have scanned the genome of cannabis plants to find the genes responsible for giving various strains their lemony, skunky or earthy flavours, an important step for the budding legal cannabis industry. “The goal is to develop well-defined and highly-reproducible cannabis varieties. This is similar to the wine industry, which depends on defined varieties such as chardonnay or merlot…
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Imagine if before taking a medication, you could walk into your local pharmacy and take a test that could accurately predict whether the medication would work for you and the dosage best suited to you—all based on your DNA. This is the genesis behind a BC-based research project “Genomics for Precision Drug Therapy in the Community Pharmacy”, the first of…
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Almost half the cells and just one per cent of the unique genes found in our bodies are human: the rest are from bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses. Together, they weigh roughly three pounds, about the same amount as the human brain. Most of those microbes are in our gastro-intestinal tract, with the highest microbial density and activity found in…
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An epidemiological study by UBC Faculty of Medicine researchers has shown that repeated injections of a drug to treat macular degeneration is associated with a higher risk of needing surgery to treat glaucoma. The study, published March 16 in JAMA Ophthalmology, was based on a review of more than 800 people in British Columbia who received injections of bevacizumab (marketed…
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A simple compound is showing promise in limiting disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS), reducing relapse rates and new disease activity significantly in mice. According to new research from Dr. Jacqueline Quandt (pictured), published recently in Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, the compound alters immune responses without eliminating cells and in doing so protects the cells in the nervous system and prevents the…
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Undergraduate students in Dr. Wyeth Wasserman’s cancer genetics class had a unique assignment: to write their own e-textbook for their course. “Textbooks cost too much and students should have high quality, free materials,” says Dr. Wasserman, who led the project. He is executive director of BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University…
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A vote in Canada’s Parliament to approve a genetic privacy bill is creating a self-inflicted political headache for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government—and could result in a relatively rare and unusual court case. The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, originally introduced in 2013 by now-retired Liberal Senator James Cowan, is aimed at preventing the use of information generated by genetic tests…
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Stem cell science belongs to Canada and it is powering regenerative medicine. Today, leaders from across this emerging sector have joined forces to advance the field, through the newly created Regenerative Medicine Alliance of Canada (RMAC). The global market for regenerative medicine is expected to exceed US$49 billion by 2021. Canada is well positioned to compete by moving its innovative…
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This week’s #BCTECH Summit commenced with several noteworthy announcements for the BC tech sector. The government has moved a long way towards the things we believe will be important to growing our sector, ensuring a strong pipeline of talent and bolstering the provincial economy.  Many of the announcements in the government’s update to the #BCTECH Strategy are aligned with recommendations…
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