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Users in the News: A Roundup of ARC-Supported Research Making Headlines - July 2018

Our ‘Users in the News’ series showcases and celebrates researchers who have recently made headlines, from local papers to international newswires.

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Genomics internship aims to rebuild trust with Indigenous communities

The Star - July 31, 2018

Participants extract DNA from clams in the Summer Indigenous Peoples in Genomics Canada program at Simon Fraser University.  (SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY / SUBMITTED)

Felix Breden, a WestGrid user and SFU genetics professor, and Kim TallBear, an associate professor who teaches Native Studies at the University of Alberta, were featured in The Star Vancouver for their work in leading the Summer Indigenous Peoples in Genomics Canada internship at SFU. Participants have been learning how to extract DNA, send it off for sequencing, and analyze the genetic data that comes back. In addition to this providing students with this practical experience, the program aims to rebuild trust between scientists and Indigenous communities, specifically when it comes to genetic studies. Read the full article here.


New technology gives clinicians inside view of patients’ joints in motion

Folio - July 26, 2018

From Folio

Pierre Boulanger, a WestGrid user and professor in the Department of Computing Science and Cisco Chair in Healthcare Solutions, is exploring ways for doctors to get a better look at patients' joints in motion without too much discomfort to the patient. Bouglanger's hope is to create modeling tools and technology that can be used in clinical settings. Click here to read the full article.



Scientists test Canadian waters for large-scale physics experiment

The Globe and Mail - July 18, 2018

Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), a Canadian-built cable system for deep-sea science experiments, has the potnetial to be used for particle physics experiments too. WestGrid user Benoît Pirenne, who is also the Executive Director, User Engagement at ONC, was featured in a Globe and Mail article about a group of particle physics scientists considering the Pacific Northwest as a potential site for a neutrino detector that would match the size of the IceCube detector (based at the South Pole) or even exceed it. Click here to read the full article.


'Ghost particle' reveals source of mysterious cosmic rays

CBC News - July 12, 2018 

Four members of the collaboration stand in front of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica.

A global team of hundreds of researchers thinks it has tracked down a source of some of the highest-energy cosmic rays: an unusual galaxy called a blazar about four billion light-years from Earth in the constellation Orion. WestGrid user Darren Grant, a University of Alberta physics professor and the spokesperson for the IceCube Collaboration, was featured in a CBC article explaining how IceCube's neutrino detector and some collaborative analysis uncovered the groundbreaking findings. Click here to read the full article.


First fossilized snake embryo ever discovered rewrites history of ancient snakes  

Folio - July 18, 2018

The tiny snake's well-preserved skeleton

WestGrid user Michael Caldwell, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, was featured in the news for his paleontology work on a fossilized snake embryo that is nearly 105 million years old. Caldwell and his team are using the fossil to learn more about early snake evolution and the area's environmental conditions at the time.  Read the full article here.



University recognized for RNA research

Leathbridge Herald - July 21, 2018

University of lethbridge logo.svg

The University of Lethbridge was recently awarded a $1.65 million grant to collaborate with the Universite de Sherbrooke to develop a ribonucleic acid (RNA) research program that will also strongly integrate private-sector development. The new program's principal investigator is Hans-Joachim Wieden, a WestGrid user and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Read the full article here.