How to start a company during a pandemic

This article was originally written for Genome Alberta’s Genomics Blog. The pandemic has put significant pressure on many small businesses and startups around the world. But for a group of student entrepreneurs, COVID-19 has actually opened up a lot of new doors. yOIL is a Calgary-based synthetic biology startup, which spun out from the award-winning Calgary […]

How Alberta’s iGEM Students are Persevering through COVID-19

This article was originally written for Genome Alberta’s Genomics Blog. Normally at this point in the year, students around the world would be hard at work in the lab, getting ready for the iGEM competition. Teams competing at this synthetic biology event are trying to find ways to engineer biology to solve real-life problems. Of […]

Canmore High Schoolers are Sorting Plastic with Biology

OLS Canmore iGEM 2018

Climate change is a hot topic recently (pun not intended). I think the next generation of young innovators is becoming increasingly aware of how we’re affecting our environment. So I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all three high school teams this year have focused on some aspect of waste management. The iGEM team from […]

High River Teens are Fighting Fatbergs

NDC High River iGEM Team 2018

High schools have to be resourceful. Not all of them have access to a nearby university to gain access to things like autoclaves, centrifuges, and shaking incubators. That didn’t stop the Notre Dame Collegiate high school iGEM team in High River, though. These eight students are part of an after-school synthetic biology club to engineer […]

Lethbridge High Schoolers are Tackling Tailings Ponds

Lethbridge HS iGEM 2018

One thing I love about the iGEM competition is seeing how students get engaged with real-world problems. I think a lot of Albertans will appreciate the challenges that the Lethbridge High School iGEM team decided to take on this year. This year, they’re tackling the remediation of oil sands tailings ponds. But what’s more interesting […]

Packaging Precious Goods with Lethbridge Undergrads

I buy a lot of things online these days. It’s just so convenient to find something on Amazon and trust that it’ll get delivered to my doorstep at some point. But if you think about it, there’s a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes to get packages to their destinations. This is a […]

Saving the Bees with UAlberta Undergrads

Photo credit: UAlberta iGEM 2018

I have a love-hate relationship with bugs. I know they’re super important to the ecosystem, but I just cannot stand being anywhere near them. For example, I saw a spider in my house the other day and now I’m a little wary about the stove where I saw it crawl behind. So I’m really not […]

Towards Safer Gene Therapy with Calgary Undergrads

iGEM Calgary 2018

Genetic engineering isn’t easy. Sure, modern synbio techniques are easier than techniques of yore, but there are still a lot of challenges that researchers face. Take gene therapy and precision medicine, for example. Very hot topics, because you can customize therapies to an individual person. You can account for the idiosyncrasies of an individual’s body, […]