Canadian research infrastructure receives support, but will it last?

Investment in infrastructure typically brings to mind hard-hat projects such as the construction of highways. But to keep science on the fast track, focused funding of research infrastructure is necessary. Following this logic, in December the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced it would award C$45.5 million ($35.9 million) to specific Canadian research projects. The investment will support more than 250 projects, including those in the health field, by providing equipment to attract and retain researchers to Canadian institutions. The … Read more…

Arctic Expedition: Life on the Amundsen

When the CCGS Amundsen, a Canadian research ice breaker, left its home port of Quebec City in July 2007, it embarked upon a historic 15-month expedition that would have it travel across the Arctic and overwinter in the Beaufort Sea. The scientists on board the  Amundsen might spend their days hunting for ice algae, fishing for zooplankton, or surveying the contours of the nearby ice floes.   But it’s not all work and no play for the researchers and graduate students … Read more…

Control Freaks

Tiny genetic snippets called microRNAs may promote metastasis Biologists know quite a bit about the steps that turn a normal cell into a cancerous one. Their understanding of metastasis, on the other hand, is somewhat more hazy. Now a short stretch of genetic material has been implicated in the spread of breast cancer, according to a study in the Oct. 11 Nature. Molecular biologist Li Ma of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, in Cambridge, Mass., has identified a type … Read more…

Permafrost that lives up to its name

Ancient Canadian ice survived previous warm periods. A 740,000-year-old wedge of ice discovered in central Yukon Territory, Canada, is the oldest known ice in North America. It suggests that permafrost has survived climates warmer than today’s, according to a new study. “Previously, it was thought that the permafrost had completely disappeared from the interior about 120,000 years ago,” says Duane Froese, an earth scientist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who is the author of the study published … Read more…

Arctic radio

Free Radicals When the CCGS Amundsen, a Canadian research ice breaker, left its home port of Quebec City in July 2007, it embarked upon a historic 15-month expedition that would have it travel across the Arctic and overwinter in the Beaufort Sea. The scientists on board the  Amundsen might spend their days hunting for ice algae, fishing for zooplankton, or surveying the contours of the nearby ice floes. The sounds of them at work were featured on Free Radicals (science, … Read more…