Financial investment spurs genome sciences research in Alberta

Genome sciences and bioinformatics research in the province is getting a huge boost thanks to a $3-million investment and the establishment of BioNet Alberta, a research network featuring the University of Lethbridge, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, Genome Alberta, Genome Canada, Genome Alberta and other partners. The network is supported by Genome Canada’s Regional Priorities Partnership Program (RP3) and features a BioNet hub at each university, with the newly established Southern Alberta…

Continue reading


Simon Winchester’s The Perfectionists – a review

                              Simon Winchester gets very precise in his latest book ‘The Perfectionists’. I like books that combine science, discovery and history. In his prologue, Winchester defines and differentiates the terms accuracy and precision. It becomes an underlying theme throughout the book. In my Biology classes, I routinely guided students through a lab activity in which data was collected to graph a…

Continue reading


Analyzing poppies to make better drugs

Some of Peter Facchini’s work has been funded in the past by Genome Alberta and he is currently working on a project under our Alberta Applied Agriculture Genomics Program. We’re pleased to see his success as he continues to build on his body of research. A team of researchers from the University of Calgary have uncovered new information about a class of plant enzymes that could have implications for the pharmaceutical industry. In a paper…

Continue reading


Express for Success: Science Targets Gene Expression

Though encouraging kids to express themselves sounds like a good idea, it’s often better in theory than in practice. By contrast, gene expression and genetic factors that contribute to traits of interest are integral to success for researchers on the Efficient Dairy Genome Project. “As part of this project, we are trying to identify the functional SNPs [the most common type of genetic variation]that affect feed efficiency and methane emissions,” said Dr. Angela Cánovas, Associate…

Continue reading


Genome Alberta joins Expert Advisor service

The Life Sciences Innovation Hub is located 2 blocks east of Genome Alberta’s office in the University of Calgary Research Park. The 127,000 sq ft facility used to be the Shell Research building and now has wet and dry labs with specialized equipment, and office and meeting space for the tenants and members. Innovate Calgary operates the LSIH and one of the many services it offers to members is the ’Expert Advisor' program. Genome Alberta…

Continue reading


Genome Alberta joins Experts on Demand service

The Life Sciences Innovation Hub is located 2 blocks east of Genome Alberta’s office in the University of Calgary Research Park. The 127,000 sq ft facility used to be the Shell Research building and now has wet and dry labs with specialized equipment, and office and meeting space for the tenants and members. Innovate Calgary operates the LSIH and one of the many services it offers to members is ‘Experts on Demand’. Genome Alberta has…

Continue reading


Beef Project Gets to Meat of the Issue

As anyone prepping kids for the first day of school can attest, things don’t always go the way you planned them. The same cannot be said for the Genome Alberta project to develop more accurate genomically-enhanced breeding values for traits of importance to the commercial cattle industry. With the project winding down, those behind it are upbeat about the progress to date. Part 1 of this two-part article looks at how the study began and…

Continue reading


It’s Back to school – We can help

                              I was reminded this morning that school will be back in full force on Tuesday for the ‘traditional calendar’ schools. The schools on a ‘modified calendar’ have already been underway since mid-August. For science teachers planning the coming year, here are a few suggestions that may be useful: > We at Genome Alberta are huge supporters of project-based learning. We sponsor…

Continue reading


Bioinformatics speeds research on how gut bacteria controls your mind, changes your blood type and health

Type O blood is universal donor blood which means it can be given to any patient that needs it regardless of their own blood type. Producing more type O blood can save many lives and improve efficiencies by reducing blood typing costs and delays before infusions. Unfortunately, there is an ongoing shortage of type O blood, according to the American Red Cross, hospitals, and other emergency blood providers. The good news is that scientists have…

Continue reading


Gerry’s Gene Scene – Linked Genes

This is the fourth in my series of ‘genetics explainer’ videos on YouTube for students, parents and teachers. I have received feedback from teachers that these videos will be of great use in a flipped-classroom instructional strategy. Mendelian genetics is a type of inheritance first described by Gregor Mendel in the 1860s and rediscovered in the early 20th century. Mendel is not known to have described linked genes (all his notes and papers were burned…

Continue reading