NEWS & VIEWS: Bacterial Genomics of Plant Adaptation

What allows bacteria, both pathogens and mutualists alike, to survive in close association with a eukaryotic host? A new study performed a large-scale comparative genomics analysis to identify novel genetic and genomic traits that are enriched in plant-associated bacterial taxa. Bacteria are found in every conceivable niche on the planet. The ability to associate with either autotrophic (i.e., plant) or…
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Cadherins are transmembrane proteins that mediate cell-cell adhesion by promoting the formation of adherens junctions. The regulated expression of cadherins is thought to play important roles in both normal and diseased placental development. Cadherin-11, also known as OB-cadherin, is expressed in human placenta and has been shown to be involved in regulation of trophoblast cell differentiation. We have demonstrated that…
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The world’s largest genetic study on asthma has identified five new genes associated with the condition and produced the most comprehensive list of genes and gene locations involved in the development of asthma and allergic disease. These research results open the door to future studies, improved diagnostics and new treatment options, says Denise Daley, an Associate Professor in the Department…
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Deeply Personal Research Highlighted during MP Visit to Cashman Lab

One Wednesday afternoon in November the Honourable Francis Drouin, Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, sat in the conference room in the DMCBH Koerner Pavilion labs, and listened. In a year when scientists have been rallying in support of the Fundamental Science Review and its implications for Canadian science funding, it was an opportunity to share the importance and broad scope of…
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On Friday, December 29, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, announced 125 new appointments to the Order of Canada. Three Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health members were included in this year’s appointments. Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews and Dr. Janet Werker were appointed Officers of the Order of Canada. Dr. Martin-Matthews was honoured for her extensive research contributions to…
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Over the last decade, biologic medicines have improved health outcomes in some of the most difficult-to-treat chronic conditions, greatly improving the lives of millions of patients. There are exciting and inspirational advancements on the horizon, with many British Columbia companies at the forefront of this pioneering science. But there is a growing concern involving biologics — and related drugs called…
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Rapid advancement in high throughput genome and transcriptome sequencing (HTS) and mass spectrometry (MS) technologies has enabled the acquisition of the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data from the same tissue sample. We introduce a computational framework, MiStrVar, to integratively analyze all three types of omics data for a complete molecular profile of a tissue sample. Our framework features MiStrVar, a…
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A medication used to treat joint and skin conditions might also help people whose only hope of surviving cancer is receiving stem cells from a donor, according to research by a University of British Columbia scientist. Transplants of blood stem cells, which can differentiate into all types of blood cells, can be a cure for life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia…
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Proteases enzymatically hydrolyze peptide bonds in substrate proteins, resulting in a widespread, irreversible posttranslational modification of the protein’s structure and biological function. Often regarded as a mere degradative mechanism in destruction of proteins or turnover in maintaining physiological homeostasis, recent research in the field of degradomics has led to the recognition of two main yet unexpected concepts. First, that targeted,…
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