Right Turn: Are your kids bored yet? Turn to these summer science distractions

After 10 months of preparing lunches, doing homework, attending dance, hockey, piano lessons (or feel free to insert whatever else fits), the unstructured, lazy, hazy days of summer are a welcome relief. Until they aren’t anymore. If your little person or tween is in serious need of some distraction, here are some educational recommendations of the scientific variety. Let’s start with podcasts. I found Brains On (“features science for kids and curious adults”) myself, but…

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Congratulations, you graduated this year! So, what happens next?

Dr. Amir Manbachi, Johns Hopkins University (with permission) Passing by university campuses in the month of June, what you will notice is joyful, well dressed students, accompanied by family members, attending their graduation ceremonies. It is indeed a great feeling to have accomplished a university degree after a lot of dedication and hard work. I personally prefer the name commencement instead of graduation ceremony. After all, even though students graduate and end a significant stage…

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Right Turn: Clinical trials – one solution to unapproved stem cell treatments

I’ve been thinking about unapproved stem cell treatments a lot recently. First, I read this article that hailed the arrival of stem cell treatments in a small community in western Canada. There were many statements in the article that concerned me, but I only addressed a few major ones in my letter to the editor. An article in the National Post, by Tom Blackwell, takes a much more balanced view of stem cell clinics, which…

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Relay race to finish off inflammatory cells

I don’t have many distinct memories from childhood. Certainly not of global events. But given the sweltering weather, the recent Canada 150 celebration, and a cool new paper published in Cell Chemical Biology, my mind wandered back to the ’96 summer Olympics (Atlanta), when Donovan Bailey raced through the finish line with his arms in the air to win Canada gold. Now while he was an extremely agile athlete, the event I’m thinking of was…

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Right Turn: How tea and humour are effective in knowledge translation – Part 2

You’re back! Whether you stumbled onto this post or you sought it out following my introductory blog about Knowledge Translation (KT), I’m just glad you’re here. Now that you understand what KT is (hint: click on the link above if you need a definition) and why it’s essential that academics share their findings in a way that is easily understood by the public and policy makers, here are some points to consider to improve the…

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Reimbursement – the final frontier

Patrick Bedford is the Senior Manager of Clinical Translation and Regulatory Affairs at CCRM. He holds a Master’s Degree in Bioethics and Health Law, and a Regulatory Affairs Certificate. Patrick has spent over 11 years applying federal regulations to emerging biotechnologies in Canada. Follow him on LinkedIN. Although I’m officially CCRM’s “regulatory guy,” I’ve been talking a lot about reimbursement lately. From this pricing and reimbursement article I authored, to this cost-effectiveness modeling course I attended, to…

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Beauty and brains: Disney updates inject STEM into classic tale

Malgosia Pakulska is the Communications and Development Officer at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences. She is also a science writer for Research2Reality, a blog designed to engage the public in Canadian research. Malgosia completed her PhD in Professor Molly Shoichet’s lab at the University of Toronto studying drug delivery systems for spinal cord regeneration after injury. Though she has left the bench, she is still passionate about research and wants to share that excitement…

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Immune to cancer, long-lived and really ugly

Angry female naked mole rat. Credit: Buffenstein/Barshop Institute/UTHSCSA c/o Wiki Commons They could well be the ugliest animals on the planet, but naked mole rats don’t get cancer or suffer decrepitude from old age. No wonder scientists are working hard to unlock the secrets of these bizarre-looking creatures that could teach us how to stave off disease and repair brains. With large protruding teeth, squinting useless eyes and wrinkly pale skin with no hair, the…

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Right Turn: Some knowledge sharing about Knowledge Translation – Part 1

I’m delighted that, despite the title, you’ve decided to read this post! For some academics, knowledge translation is not the most exciting aspect of their job, but it is a requirement that must be fulfilled as part of their funding obligations. No offense to those who are professionals in the field and embrace the importance of this practice. Even you know that knowledge translation isn’t always popular (but I think that’s because it isn’t really…

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What time zone is your heart tissue In?

By Sun Ladder (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia CommonsOur lives our governed by our concept of time. Whether you are relatively spontaneous or a micromanager of your daily schedule, how we coordinate our work and interactions with other people comes down to the 24-hour clock we picture in our minds. Of course, this 24-hour clock is more than just a social construct. It is engrained into our very cells.…

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