From Our Own Borealis Blog

March for Science returns for a second year

By Farah Qaiser, Policy & Politics co-editor   On Saturday, April 14, scientists and science enthusiasts once again took to […]

Continue reading


Blog Feeds

Is NSERC turning the ship around?

Nearly five years ago, I alerted readers to an alarming trend in postdoctoral fellow awards at the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). In my blog entitled Come on NSERC, really – you’ve completely missed the point…, I was complaining that in order to improve on their abysmal <8 percent funding rate in their fellowship program, their solution of reducing applications was the wrong one.  Instead of a 66 percent decrease in the absolute…

Continue reading


Less is more—a superconducting synapse

It seems the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is more deeply invested into developing artificial brains than I had realized (See: April 17, 2018 posting). A January 26, 2018 NIST news release on EurekAlert describes the organization’s latest foray into the field, Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a superconducting switch that “learns” like a biological system and could connect processors and store memories in future…

Continue reading


A new Fisheries Act is coming

A new Fisheries Act could see lost protections restored, promising full protection for all fish and fish habitat. But did you know that if fish and their habitats are protected to the pre-2012 standard, the swimmability, drinkability, and fishability of Canadian waters is protected as well?On April 16, 2018, the new Fisheries Act was sent to committee. As the Act makes its way through Parliament, Swim Drink Fish’s Gabrielle Parent-Doliner and Mark Mattson weigh in…

Continue reading


Reflections on Teaching a Three Hour Evening Class for the First Time

Since I’ve started teaching courses at the university level, the classes that I have taught have been 1 hour timeslots three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or 1.5 hour slots on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. This semester I taught a 3 hour class for the first time and it was on a Monday evening. I think that when dealing with timeslots that you haven’t…

Continue reading


Weekend reads

Lots of work and distractions keep me from blogging these days. Hope to get back to old routine in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, some more papers to read:Performance of amplicon and shotgun sequencing for accurate biomass estimation in invertebrate community samplesNew applications of DNA and RNA sequencing are expanding the field of biodiversity discovery and ecological monitoring, yet questions remain regarding precision and efficiency. Due to primer bias, the ability of metabarcoding to accurately depict…

Continue reading


A Mathematician Barbie???? Who’da Thunk It?

Post by Helaine BeckerWhen I was growing up, Barbie was the ultimate aspirational toy. She had a fantastic slinky black dress. An over the top wedding dress. And clothes for being a stewardess, a picnicker, and attending a sock hop.But there was no Barbie mathematician attire. Are you kidding? This was the era of "men don't make passes at girls who where glasses." And "men don't like women who are smarter than they are. So…

Continue reading


Right Turn: Talking gene therapies at StemCellTalks McMaster

This week (April 15-21) is National Volunteer Week. Across Canada, 12.7 million people donate their time to make Canada a better place to live. In the stem cell community, scientists, clinicians, researchers and hundreds of university students across the country work hard to make StemCellTalks a success every year. In the spirit of National Volunteer Week, thank you for your efforts to educate, inspire and engage high school students in stem cell science. CCRM has…

Continue reading