Right Turn: Visual analytics go viral (KT part 3)

A fundamental (and obvious) truth about knowledge translation (KT) is that if you want your work to have impact, it needs to be engaging. A viral video reaches thousands or millions of people; a boring, complex, badly produced video reaches a handful of people (your family, closest friends and some colleagues. Maybe a curious ex.) Knowledge translation usually involves synthesizing and sharing data; the challenge is in making that sexy. Fortunately, data dissemination has undergone…

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‘Bad Luck 2.0’ – the transformation to success

By Sara Nolte Over two years ago, an article published in Science took the Internet and media by storm. The paper, “Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell divisions,” better known as “The ‘Bad Luck’ Cancer Study,” used mathematical modeling to demonstrate that most cancers were a result of chance mutations, rather than inherited genetics or environmental factors. It was presented by many media outlets in a…

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Right Turn: Why #ILookLikeAnEngineer is still around

  I was on a Toronto subway this week and saw a woman wearing a button with #ILookLikeAnEngineer (see image right). Having blogged about this topic myself in 2015 and also having featured the blog of a female engineer sharing her thoughts, I was pleased to see this important campaign had jumped over to the mainstream, but also a little surprised it was still around. Wondering about the status of #ILookLikeAnEngineer, it appears the campaign…

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The making of a bioactive “tissue paper”

Above: Image of a building scaffold. Below: Image of a scaffold structure developed in the lab of Dr. Milica Radisic, University of Toronto. The author has previously written about this structure. Image credit: Raymond Chea (http://news.engineering.utoronto.ca/tissue-velcro/) If you live in Toronto (Canada), you know that we have two seasons: winter and construction season. Between new condo developments and homes being renovated or restored, construction is everywhere. Right now, there are five active projects going on…

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Right Turn: Teaching kids critical thinking skills

I love kids. Their curiosity, passion and enthusiasm for life are infectious. With two teenagers at home, kids and school are very much on my mind right now. (I have a habit of blogging about back-to-school, as you can read here and here.) Because kids are so curious, they constantly explore the world around them. Young ones do this through their senses, especially touch. Older kids explore with their minds and the internet is a…

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Trying to get it right: a blog carnival about Right to Try

The crux of Right to Try legislation, enacted by 37 U.S. states so far, is the premise that terminally ill patients should have access to experimental therapies, even if they haven’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration yet. It sounds straight-forward right? My body, my risk, my decision. The U.S. already has measures in place, in some states, to legalize medical aid in dying for terminally ill patients so why is this different?…

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Valuing the good, the bad and the ugly

As with all of my posts that relate to anything that might end up being a medical treatment, it is important to be very clear that I am scientist and not a physician.  My comments are my own opinion and based on my experience as a stem cell biologist over the last 10+ years. This blog carnival is about a series of laws in the United States described as Right to Try laws and they…

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Right Turn: ‘Right to try’ state of affairs in U.S.

On Tuesday, August 29, Signals is hosting a blog carnival on the topic Right to Try. Before you read the perspectives of the contributing bloggers, here’s what President Trump thinks about the legislation and the Goldwater Institute’s reaction. It’s the Institute that took on this cause in the first place. Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate “passed by unanimous consent” the Right to Try bill. More to come next week! Our regular feature, Right Turn,…

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Weighing in on a controversial topic

We are less than one week away from Signals’ second blog carnival! Last month I promised to reveal the topic and the participants. I also hinted that this year’s topic might strike some readers as controversial. Given that a few invited bloggers declined to participate, I’d have to say that’s the case. So although our numbers are a little smaller this year – busy schedules and vacations having also gotten in the way – the…

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Right Turn: Vacationing on Mars

Hi Loyal Readers, Happy summer! Thanks for your visits all year. I’m on vacation this week, but I thought I’d leave you with something anyway. Next week, I’ll provide some more details about the upcoming blog carnival taking place August 29th. I hope you’ll drop by to read all the interesting blogs and different points of view. No, I’m not vacationing on Mars, but maybe one day.   Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every…

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