Using genes to attack disease with precision

Pharmacogenomics, a mixture of the pharmaceutical and genetic sciences, holds vast potential for health care

Using genes to attack disease with precisionPharmacogenomics is a long word that describes an area of health research with vast potential for future medicine. Now part of most new clinical trials, it's a mixture of the pharmaceutical and genetic sciences. It involves the study of how a person’s genes affect the way the body responds to drugs. The hope is that we…

Tips to weaning yourself from technology dependency

You really don't need to be in contact with everyone 24-7

Tips to weaning yourself from technology dependencyMost of us have become almost totally dependent on technology – and in the process, many of us have lost the art of true communication. In many ways, being tech-connected in the 21st century means being disconnected from humanity. Certainly everyone has a story about how the digital world has let them down – the computer that…

Nutrition advice from celebrities trumps new food guide

There are far too many barriers to following Canada’s Food Guide, including the Gwyneth Paltrow effect

Nutrition advice from celebrities trumps new food guideBy Sylvain Charlebois Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Simon Somogyi University of Guelph Will Canadians use the new version of Canada’s Food Guide and will it cost us more to follow the new recommendations it contains? The guide, introduced a few weeks ago, advocates a diet focused more on plant-based eating and reductions in…

Lab-grown meat is worthless unless consumers see a benefit

The issues surrounding the technology – and the payoffs – need to be clearly explained to get public support

Lab-grown meat is worthless unless consumers see a benefitCultured meat is an interesting concept that could hit stores soon. But this new science needs to make a case for consumers, not just for the industry.  According to a recent survey by Dalhousie University, fewer than 19 per cent of Canadians would willingly ditch their favourite steak for a lab-grown version. But even if…

Approaching real problems with scientific problem-solving tools

Do we really think that the old legal-political-economic decision-making trifecta is up to the task of solving the world's problems?

Approaching real problems with scientific problem-solving toolsFew would argue with the proposition that how we think determines how we solve our problems. Just consider the past week. We’ve had what the mainstream media characterizes as a scandal in Ottawa. A strong member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, Jody Wilson-Raybould, has resigned and sought legal counsel on next moves from a…

Green energy industries are impractical, destined to fail

Yes, we need to build the renewable energy industry. But that means concentrating on nuclear and fusion energy systems

Green energy industries are impractical, destined to failSupposedly green or renewable energy has become a trillion-dollar-plus annual industry that has spawned tens of thousands of new businesses worldwide. The total climate-industrial complex is a $2-trillion-per-year business. Even major fossil fuel companies like Shell now have green energy divisions. These companies are virtually 100 per cent dependent on the politically-driven notion of dangerous…

Temper your confidence in the science that runs your life

Trust requires consistency and transparency. It must be understandable. And we need regulations that protect the public

Temper your confidence in the science that runs your lifeThe big success stories of our time have scaled at exponential rates – Facebook, Amazon, Apple and the other ‘super bigs’ relentlessly enlarge themselves. When something scales, however, the mix of characteristics, benefits, and costs of a business or organization may scale with it. In contemporary life, the tools that business, research and social interaction…

Genetic modification a crucial tool in feeding the world

Scientists have found no negative differences in the health of people eating GM and non-GM foods

Genetic modification a crucial tool in feeding the worldThe changing environment means we face weather patterns that haven’t been seen in generations. And that means new challenges in feeding humanity. But we have the tools. Storms and floods are more frequent and widespread. Changing temperatures affect oceans and lands, wildlife and crops. Because we haven’t seen such changes before, we often don’t know…

Federal funding is ending but frailty still matters

New Frontiers in Research Fund supported valuable, long-term work. The program replacing it leaves huge gaps

Federal funding is ending but frailty still mattersBy Russell Williams and John Muscedere The federal government has announced the end of funding for its Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. This is not good news for Canadians. The program has long been touted as the jewel of the federal government’s sciences research support – and programs around the world have been…

Endeavour’s voyage of enlightenment added a hemisphere to the world

And, according to author Peter Moore, the endeavour attitude is characterized by dreaming of our better angels, not by acquiring more stuff

Endeavour’s voyage of enlightenment added a hemisphere to the worldMy daughter choreographs reading that plays to my whimsical non-fiction interests through Christmas gifts of books. This year, I carefully opened a beribboned volume by British author Peter Moore entitled Endeavour: The Ship and Attitude that Changed the World (2018). Right away, I recognized Endeavour as James Cook’s ship on his first epic voyage of discovery…
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