A New Lineage of Eukaryotes Illuminates Early Mitochondrial Genome Reduction

Read the Publication  This week we profile a recent publication in Current Biology from the laboratory of Dr. Patrick Keeling (front, second from right) at the University of British Columbia. Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus? Research in the lab is actually not particularly focused on one question, I think in part because diversity is…
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A team of Canadian researchers that studied so-called predatory journals is suggesting a “co-ordinated response” from scientists, institutions and patients to combat the spread of illegitimate or questionable science. Researchers from the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa have published a guide for stakeholders in Nature of Human Behaviour, saying their actions will be “needed to stop the influence of illegitimate journals.”…
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Dr. Alex Wyatt has been awarded a CIHR Early Career Investigator Award for $345,000 over 3 years.  His project aims to develop a procedure that will enable the identification of metastatic bladder cancer patients most likely to respond to specific therapies. Chemotherapy has historically been the most effective treatment for metastatic disease, but long-term survival has been a rarity. Recently,…
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Microbes exist everywhere – in water, air, soil, plants and animals, and from the coldest regions of the Antarctic to the boiling hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the sea. According to microbiologist Brett Finlay, there are far more bacteria on Earth than there are stars in the sky, and despite their microscopic size, the Earth’s microbes weigh more than…
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Heartbreaking loss has led to a leap in progress for beluga whale conservation science: the beluga genome has been sequenced for the first time.   BC Cancer’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) worked with genetic material from the mother and daughter beluga whales who were cared for at Vancouver Aquarium for almost three decades. The Genome BC funded research…
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Phyton Biotech today announced that it has received a $400,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the research and development of an alternative method of producing artemisinin, a key active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) used to combat malaria. Artemisinin-based therapies are the global standard for the treatment of malaria, a disease that affects over 200 million people…
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Right now, 25% of children who survive blood and marrow transplants go on to develop chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD), an incurable condition that can cause lifelong pain and disability. “Blood and marrow transplants can cure cancer and immune disease in patients who have few other treatment options, but they also can cause cGvHD,” says Dr. Kirk Schultz. “We want to preserve…
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When we talk about female representation in science, we’re rarely talking about test subjects. We tend to want more women behind the microscope, not under it. Neuroscience is one of the most skewed fields when it comes to testing on female physiology. One review found single-sex brain studies using male animals outnumbered those using females 6.7 to one. Aarthi Gobinath, a…
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REVIEW: Functional Horizontal Gene Transfer from Bacteria to Eukaryotes

Bacteria influence eukaryotic biology as parasitic, commensal or beneficial symbionts. Aside from these organismal interactions, bacteria have also been important sources of new genetic sequences through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) for eukaryotes. In this Review, we focus on gene transfers from bacteria to eukaryotes, discuss how horizontally transferred genes become functional and explore what functions are endowed upon a broad…
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Cited Podcast Wins Top Journalism Award

In two small offices of the Michael Smith Laboratories, among the controlled chaos of labs and data, a small team of industrious journalists record a radio show and podcast called Cited. Last month, their hard work was rewarded with one of British Columbia’s most prestigious awards for journalism: The Jack Webster Award in Feature and Enterprise Reporting, for their episode The Heroin Clinic. Cited originally…
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