Archive for the ‘Biology’ Category

Right Turn: Stem cells, like children, are a labour of love

Author: Stacey Johnson, 03/17/17

For many Canadians with kids, we’re nearing the end of March Break – a holiday from school for elementary- and secondary school-aged children. Whether you’re travelling or at home this week, you’ve spent lots of quality time with your children and this new video from a group at Cambridge may really resonate with you. According…Read more

Interspecies generation of insulin producing cells now a reality

Author: David Kent, 03/01/17

From science fiction novelists through to medical doctors and industry leaders, a huge amount of attention has been given to the idea of growing human organs for transplantation in large farm animals like pigs and sheep. The need for organs to transplant into patients is one driving motivation (~5000 patients waiting in Canada alone), but…Read more

If your body isn’t healing, your partner’s genes might be to blame

Author: Jovana Drinjakovic, 02/22/17

Choosing the right partner in life can help overcome its many pitfalls and challenges. But what if that partner could also influence your health in totally unexpected ways—what if their genes, and not only yours, are at play? This, at least, seems to be the case in mice where the health of one mouse is…Read more

Right Turn: Checking in on Research2Reality

Author: Stacey Johnson, 02/17/17

Research2Reality will soon be celebrating its 2nd anniversary. I first wrote about it when it launched and was excited by its mission to highlight the work of scientists across Canada, from a variety of disciplines, and make their research interesting and understandable to a non-expert audience. Through videos and blogs, Research2Reality is “shining a light…Read more

Right Turn: Synthetic biology predicted to become a huge industry

Author: Stacey Johnson, 02/10/17

There is a trend in the regenerative medicine field to include gene therapies when describing the work being performed by academics and industry, as in “cell and gene therapies.” The wider definition better reflects how the industry is evolving and acknowledges the dual focus. I expect the same may happen with synthetic biology’s role in…Read more

Can we use animals as living incubators for human tissue?

Author: Jovana Drinjakovic, 01/16/17

Markus Grompe certainly thinks so and is working hard to make it happen. A scientist and a pediatrician specializing in inborn liver diseases, Dr. Grompe has a plan for overcoming the shortage of organ donors—the key obstacle for patients for whom the liver transplant is the only hope. Based at the Oregon Health and Science…Read more

Right Turn: A PhD in stand-up comedy

Author: Stacey Johnson, 01/06/17

“Biology is the only science in which multiplication is the same thing as division.” “Q: What did the conservative biologist say? A: The only cleavage I want to see is at the cellular level.” “Q: What did one cell say to his sister cell when she stepped on his toe? A. Mitosis”* Hunh? I’ve literally…Read more

Wave of the future: Using anesthesia to detect neurodegeneration

Author: Samantha Payne, 01/03/17

Most people have experienced being put to sleep for a surgical procedure, whether it is relatively minor like the removal of a tooth, or major heart surgery. In fact, every day 60 000 people will undergo general anesthesia in the U.S. You may have noticed a lot of stories sound similar: “I was completely awake…Read more

Crazy for CRISPR!

Author: Sara M. Nolte, 12/05/16

On November 15th, my social media pages exploded with posts and comments regarding the latest news about how the gene-editing ‘CRISPR-Cas9’ technology had been used in the first human patient. The article, published by Nature, was entitled “CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time.” It described how a group of Chinese scientists…Read more

Right Turn: These three videos show why we should be impressed by our young stem cell researchers

Author: Lisa Willemse, 11/18/16

Stroke, lung damage and mathematical modeling. You may not think these three topics have much in common and for the most part you’d be right. But they have more than one common link. First, each is either a disease focus or methodology within stem cell research. Secondly, each subject –biomaterials to aid stem cell engraftment…Read more