From Our Own Borealis Blog

CRISPR-Cas9 technology and personalized medicine: What about Canada?

by Rick Gierczak, guest contributor CRISPR-Cas9 technology was accidentally discovered in the 1980s when scientists were researching how bacteria defend […]

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“Scientist Sees Squirrel” is nominated for a People’s Choice Award!

Image: Squirrel (of course), Sorbyphoto CC0. I’m happy to be able to tell you that Scientist Sees Squirrel is a 2018 nominee for “Canada’s Favourite Science Blog” – a People’s Choice Award.  This is an annual award, jointly sponsored by the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada and the blogging network Science Borealis.  It’s lovely […]

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CRISPR-Cas9 technology and personalized medicine: What about Canada?

by Rick Gierczak, guest contributor CRISPR-Cas9 technology was accidentally discovered in the 1980s when scientists were researching how bacteria defend themselves against viral infection. While studying bacterial DNA called clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), they identified additional CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein molecules. Together, CRISPR and one of those protein molecules, termed Cas9, can locate […]

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Episode 94: Joggins Fossil Cliffs

The Carboniferous was a time of huge swampy forests, big trees, and lots of life both on land and in the ocean. One world-renowned fossil site from approximately 300 million years ago is the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, located on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia Canada. Joggins is one of Canada’s five palaeontology-based UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is one of the best places in this world to find fossils from this time period.…

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Science Borealis: vote for your favourite Canadian science blog!

I am honoured and a bit embarrassed to announce that SpiderBytes is in the running for the Science Borealis People’s Choice Award for “Canada’s Favourite Science Blog.” Honoured, because I am proud to be part of the Science Borealis network of Canadian science blogs! And embarrassed, because I have posted exactly two things here in the last year. In my defence, I have been in the thick of pursuing a PhD, but I will take this as a…

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Visuals in Mathematics

There’s no doubt that writing is a useful tool. If anything, I’m biased towards writing. I write every day, so I know what it means to use words to craft an explanation. If you can use the right words in the right arrangement, almost everything becomes clear. That being said, there’s still a difference between writing and communicating. As much as I love writing about physics and mathematics, I realize that using this medium to…

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Companion Animal Psychology News September 2018

Newborn kittens, a puppy searching for owls, and clever raccoons - the latest news from Companion Animal Psychology.Some of my favourites from around the web this month “in a last-ditch conservation effort, a crack team of Canberra researchers plan to harness Zorro's superior canine nose to help find and monitor Tasmania's masked owl.” Scientists want to train this puppy to save endangered owls.Meanwhile, sniffing out error in detection dog data looks at the issues that can…

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Techne and Programming as Analytic Philosophy

This week, as I was assembling furniture — my closest approach to a traditional craft — I was listening to Peter Adamson interviewing his twin brother Glenn Adamson about craft and material intelligence. Given that this interview was on the history of philosophy (without any gaps) podcast, at some point, the brothers steered the conversation to Plato. In particular, to Plato’s high regard for craft or — in its Greek form — techne. For Peter,…

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