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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The announcement to create the position of a chief science advisor (CSA) for Canada by Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan has been well received by the scientific community. Bringing science to the forefront of the public sphere is a goal to be applauded, as is that of recognizing and valuing the contributions of research communities within Canadian society. In particular,…
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Dr. Lynne Quarmby is a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University. In addition to her roles as researcher and teacher, Dr Quarmby is an environmental activist concerned with the lack of evidence-based decision making, which led to her running in the 2015 federal election. We sat down with Dr. Quarmby to discuss how…
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Last month, General Electric announced that by 2020 the company would not only have equal numbers of men and women in its entry-level technical programs, but would also increase the number of women in its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) positions from 14,700 to 20,000. The news came as a welcome surprise. In many countries, women are, and always…
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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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Background Clinical grading systems using clinical features alongside nomograms lack precision in guiding treatment decisions in prostate cancer (PCa). There is a critical need for identification of biomarkers that can more accurately stratify patients with primary PCa. Objective To identify a robust prognostic signature to better distinguish indolent from aggressive prostate cancer (PCa). Design, setting, and participants To develop the…
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Much anticipated initial results of the Canadian chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) clinical trial for multiple sclerosis (MS) were announced on March 8. The results demonstrated that the CCSVI procedure is ineffective compared to a neutral procedure in a group of 104 MS patients after 48 weeks. The outcome of the study at this time point serves as an important…
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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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Canadian Health Research in the Trump Era

Given the difficulties associated with Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) grant applications in the past year, scientists in the Vancouver area and across Canada may be looking to the United States for funding now more than ever. Per a report on Canadian health research conducted in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, over 13% of funding came from foreign sources, the…
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