Epigenetics means your fate is not sealed in your DNA

This blog post by Pam Baker originally appeared on the Alberta Epigenetics Network website on 30 September, 2018 Studies in epigenetics continue to add nuances to the nature vs nurture debate every day, but one message seems to underline them all: your fate is not sealed in your DNA. Epigenetics are unique to each individual since environmental factors and lifestyle choices vary for each person, even if only minimally. The resulting set of gene expressions…

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I found some STEM books for Toddlers

                     There are many benefits to reading to very young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics shows that reading daily to young children, starting in infancy, can help with language acquisition and literacy skills. They use the term "biological embedding" to describe this long-term benefit: getting the young brain ready to read. For many years, parent and teacher groups have championed daily reading to youngsters. If…

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Big Data a Big Deal for Genome Research

Whether it’s perfume or your friend’s trip photos, less is more; when it comes to amassing data for the Efficient Dairy Genome Project, however, the more the merrier. Groundbreaking research in applying genomics to feed efficiency and methane emissions requires a lot of information and, as you might expect, gathering and analyzing big data is a big job. “I handle almost all the data produced by the research farm, and because of the number of…

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Student Genome Research in a Class by Itself

As spring nears, a young student’s thoughts turn to classic rites of passage: spring break; convocation; projects on retained heterozygosity. Though that last one may not be for everybody, it was front and centre for 30 third-year veterinary medicine students at the University of Calgary. “Every year, our third-year class does an original research project,” said Dr. Alastair Cribb, Professor, Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine at the University of Calgary. “This…

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Gerry’s Gene Scene – Astrobiology

                         I keep an eye out for science articles related to astrobiology. Recently some big ideas in astrobiology have been announced including the Earth First Origins, a major project supported by NASA Astrobiology led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Perhaps of interest to students and teachers is the New Arecibo Message. Students are required to solve a puzzle to log in for more information. The…

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LISTEN: Insights sneak into a conversation

Setting up a conversation, recording it, and editing the audio for a podcast has become so simple you can get the job done quickly - even on a smartphone if needed. But that's just the technology -  the content is where it really starts. Yesterday I recorded and posted a conversation with 2 of our researchers who received significant new funding in the Genome Canada 2017 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition. The new project "A…

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From big data comes big information

Dr. Paul Stothard is a Professor at the University of Alberta, and Dr. Gary Van Domselaar is Chief of Bioinformatics at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Together they are leading a new $940,000 project to help researchers make sense of the massive amounts of data generated in the sequencing of bacterial genomes. This is particularly important for the National Microbiology Lab which has the job of helping to stop the spread of infectious disease,…

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2017 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (B/CB) Competition Results (Multi-sector stream projects)

Genome Canada is pleased to announce 25 projects selected for funding as a result of the 2017 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition (B/CB). A total of $23.1 million is being invested in these projects, which will produce next-generation tools and methodologies to deal with the influx of large amounts of data produced by modern genomics technologies and will provide broad access to these tools to the research community. Bioinformatics and Computational Biology is specifically recognized…

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Immunity Research Could Mean a Healthier Bottom Line

In one respect, immunity is akin to the elevator at your office: only appreciated when it’s out of order. Given the impact of sick animals on their owner’s business, pig health is a top research priority. As scientists seek to enhance disease resilience in pigs for a Genome Alberta-led project, they may draw on the findings of another study on early life antibiotics. The lead on that study is Dr. Janelle Fouhse, Postdoctoral fellow in…

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Denmark Data a Boon for Canadian Cows

The Danes may be best known for LEGO and Hans Christian Andersen, but to Canadian dairy researchers, it’s Denmark’s data that puts them on the map. In their efforts to improve feed efficiency and methane emission in dairy cattle, scientists on the Efficient Dairy Genome Project (EDGP) are looking to Denmark – among others – for the building blocks of genomic progress. “It is well established that the success and long-term sustainability of any livestock…

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