A new kind of problem

The PhD student and I are analyzing the data from his mapping of H. influenzae's uptake of genomic DNA.  The data was generated by Illumina sequencing of genomic DNA samples before and after they had been taken up by competent cells.  Using a rec2 mutant as the competent cells lets us recover the DNA intact after uptake.He has done quite a bit of analysis of the resulting uptake ratios (ratio of 'recovered' coverage to 'input'…

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Interview with Dr. Lee Dugatkin about How to Tame a Fox

Dr. Lee Dugatkin talks about the Russian fox experiment and his new book, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog).Photo:Irena Pivovarova, The Institute of Cytology and Genetics, NovosibirskThe Russian fox experiment to breed tame foxes has fascinated people for decades. I was very excited to speak to Dr. Lee Alan Dugatkin about his new book with co-author Lydumila Trut, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian…

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A step towards genetically tailored medicine for autism spectrum disorder

Dr. Karun Singh, an investigator at the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University, hopes to lead the way towards a new treatment for Autism Spectrum DisorderBuilding a puzzle without the reference image on the box cover is no easy task. You might find a few pieces that go together by matching colours or connecting fragments of an image, or string together a stretch of the puzzle’s edge, but in either case you won’t…

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Standing desks will not help you (or your kids) lose weight

I like standing desks.*  I have a real one in my office, and am using a homemade one as we speak.  The research on standing desks is still in its infancy, but I think it is quite plausible that they will lead to some health benefits (we’re doing a couple projects on this in my lab at the moment).  The most likely health benefits of a standing desk are improved blood sugar, although research is just…

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Le point sur la pilule contraceptive

Chronique du 10 mars sur CIBL. On a entendu bien des choses sur la pilule. Tellement de choses que la journaliste Marine Corniou a épluché tout cela pour nous dans le dernier Québec Science. Par exemple, les femmes ont 2 chances sur 10 000 de faire une thrombose avec les pilules de 2e génération. C’est deux fois plus élevé que sans […]

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Understanding Dogs with iSpeakDog

A fabulous new resource to help people better understand their dogs - and the reasons we need it.Those of us who know dogs are (sadly) used to seeing it: a dog says one thing and their owners do not understand. As a result, often the dog is scolded or chided, sometimes even hit, and the person may be risking a bite. If only there was a way to help people understand dogs better… and now…

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Les dépendances déclenchées par le manque de liens sociaux

Tout comme la semaine dernière, c’est une vidéo qui est à l’origine du billet d’aujourd’hui, plus précisément une vidéo de l’excellente série de Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell. Cette chaîne You Tube basée à Munich, en Allemagne, produit des vidéos de quelques minutes qui résument avec brio des questions complexes comme « qu’est-ce que la vie ? » ou « qu’est-ce que l’addiction ? ». C’est la vidéo se penchant sur cette dernière question qui m’a fait découvrir les…

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The long slog of medical R&D and finding inspiration

Creative Commons license to reproduce Research and development (R&D) of a medical therapeutic is a long slog. This isn’t news to anyone working in the field. The average time to bring a new drug product to market is over a decade. Moreover, this is the timeline when everything progresses well – funding and business decisions align, manufacturing processes come together, and regulatory submissions don’t face any substantial setbacks. For less established cell and gene therapies…

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Right Turn: Stem cell researchers develop more than undifferentiated stem cells at StemCellTalks Toronto

StemCellTalks Toronto, March 10, 2017 The eighth annual Toronto StemCellTalks (SCT) symposium took place on March 10, 2017, in Toronto’s urban innovation hub (and CCRM’s new home), MaRS Discovery District. SCT is a national stem cell biology outreach program for high school students in partnership with Let’s Talk Science and the Stem Cell Network. (CCRM is also a proud national sponsor of this annual event.) This year’s theme was Immune Cells and Cancer; however, for…

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