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Recent Posts

CFI celebrates 25 years with a forward-looking survey of youth

To mark its 25th anniversary, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) launched a survey last year to ask 18- to 24-year-olds about their attitudes toward science. Among the findings released last fall, the survey revealed that many of the participants felt science was too intellectually demanding.“This significant and meaningful survey rings notes of hope and caution as we look to …

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Sensing Biodiversity: Vacuuming mammal DNA from the air

A geneticist uses a simple pump to filter microscopic genetic samples from air. The approach is a novel way to monitor biodiversity, identify species interactions and assess changes in the ecosystem. By Rehana Begg Take a deep breath. Now consider the air you’ve inhaled…Along with the oxygen, air contains nitrogen and carbon dioxide, as well as ozone, smoke, dust and …

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New DNA insights will transform Arctic marine biodiversity and fisheries management

By Brian Burke, Nunavut Fisheries Association & Caron Hawco, eDNAtec Indigenous fishing enterprises are playing a key role in the application of genetics research to support the commercial fishery of Canada’s North. This has the potential to address the significant knowledge gaps that currently exist relating to Canada’s biodiversity in the North. Traditional environmental programs have typically been limited due …

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More than Noah’s Ark Plant gene resources of Canada: A living library

Images provided by Plant Gene Resources of Canada (PGRC), ©Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, licensed under the Open Government Licence – Canada By Robert Price Axel Diederichsen has a scientist’s sense of humour. A research scientist and curator at Plant Gene Resources of Canada (PGRC), he recalls one …

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In a Canadian first, UBC scientists 3D print human sperm

Dr. Ryan Flannigan and research assistant Meghan Robinson with the bioprinter they’re using to 3D print copies of a patient’s testicular cells.Photo Courtesy: University of British Columbia Science has come a long way since the first blood vessels were bioprinted in 2010, successfully printing cartilage, bone, cardiac, nervous, liver, and vascular tissues. Recently, scientists at the University of British Columbia …

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Getting to the root of the tree of life

The Canadian BioGenome Project is an ambitious undertaking that aims to map the complete genome of plants and animals By Sean Tarry When it comes to scientific pursuits, there aren’t many that match the ambition, breadth or significance of the Canadian BioGenome Project. Established as part of the larger Earth BioGenome Project, it’s an undertaking that aims to map the …

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Revving the engines of Canada’s genomic machine

A sampler of 10 Canadian genomic initiatives to watch By Jana Manolakos Despite a slower pace than other countries, Canada’s genomic research landscape is expanding, powering up Canada’s contributions to genetics and biotechnology in health, agriculture and the environment.From precision health, which harnesses the potency of genome sequencing to diagnose and determine treatment of genetic conditions, to the barcoding of …

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CIFST 70th Anniversary Celebrations

By Heidi Loney Established in June 1951, the Canadian Institute of Food Science & Technology (CIFST) arose from the recommendations of the National Research Council Committee on Food Preservation, which was formed during the Second World War. The committee recognized food technology as an identifiable science and saw a need for trained people in the secondary handling and processing of …

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An inventory of multicellular species helping preserve and protect life on Earth

Photos courtesy of the University of Guelph Can we establish a global bio-surveillance system? Can we avert a planetary mass extinction? Helping to answer these and other large-scale questions about life on Earth is the goal of Bioscan, a project awarded $24 million in federal funding this past January according to a University of Guelph news article.Led by Paul Hebert, …

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Ag-West Bio: A catalyst and connector for Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry

Sponsored Content Are you building an agri-food business in Saskatchewan,looking for connections, training or support? We can help! Are you an investor looking for opportunities in the agri-food sector?Learn what Saskatchewan has to offer by contacting Ag-West Bio. We grow biobusiness in Saskatchewan What’s special about Saskatchewan?Saskatchewan is home to one of the most vibrant bioscience innovation clusters in Canada, …

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The Trackers: Keeping tabs on Canada’s wildlife

At the University of British Columbia, there’s a study that offers new evidence that protected natural areas promote mammal diversity. Researchers at UBC’s Faculty of Forestry analyzed data from a global data set drawing from 8,671 camera trap stations spanning four continents, the largest number of wildlife cameras ever analyzed in a single study.They found more mammal diversity in survey …

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From the willow: A medicine that transcends time

It goes as far back as the Assyrians who documented the use of willow leaves for rheumatic inflammation on stone tablets during the Sumerian period, around 2000 BCE. They found that willow leaves and bark reduced fevers and inflammation. Willows naturally produce salicylic acid in response to stress and to help fight against bacterial infection. It’s an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial …

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