Archive for the ‘Biology’ Category

The “immunity saboteurs ” – otherwise known as T-cells

Author: Hamideh Emrani, 06/07/17

Did you know that a healthy person with a healthy lifestyle and diet might still end up being diabetic? That is certainly the case with those who have type 1 diabetes (T1D). In T1D, the patient’s body has lost the ability to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that acts like an agent and takes…Read more

Right Turn: Eventual relief for those suffering from Crohn’s?

Author: Stacey Johnson, 05/26/17

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook the news about her teenage son who, a year ago, had been suffering from an undiagnosed condition. Her son’s doctor didn’t treat the symptoms very seriously until the mother insisted something was wrong and implored him to identify the cause. Finally, her son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Along…Read more

The roots of regeneration

Author: Samantha Payne, 05/24/17

The study of how organisms evolved and diversified, called phylogeny (phylo = race or kind and gene = origin), may bring up memories of sitting in biology class looking at elaborate tree-shaped diagrams and incomprehensible latin labels. But there is so much more to it. If we take a closer look, it becomes clear that phylogenetics can be…Read more

Guardian of the genome goes rogue in cultured stem cells

Author: Jovana Drinjakovic, 05/10/17

Last month, a study published in Nature revealed that researchers have unknowingly been working on human stem cell lines that harbour mutations in a gene linked to many cancers, raising safety concerns over their use in therapy. But the findings don’t condemn stem cell treatment to an early grave. Instead, they raise an awareness of…Read more

The curious case of applying electric shock to treat brain injuries

Author: Hamideh Emrani, 04/04/17

The month of March is a time for celebrating women around the world. As a science enthusiast, I have been so inspired by the women I see succeeding in the research field. Since I started writing for this blog, I have had the chance to write about and interview female researchers such as Jin Hyung…Read more

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