GBB in the News
GBB Researcher Tim Hughes and Colleagues Sequence Purple Kush Genome - 20 October 2011, 4.20 pm. NRC-Plant Biotechnology Institute research Jonathan Page along with GBB colleague Timothy Hughes and others have sequenced genomic DNA and RNA from the Purple Kush marijuana strain using next-generation sequencing approaches. A comparison of the transcriptomes of Purple Kush and the hemp cultivar Finola revealed stronger expression for many genes for cannabinoid and precursor pathways in the marijuana strain. 9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase occurs exclusively in the Purple Kush transcriptome, and is replaced by cannabidiolic acid synthase in hemp, providing an explanation for the production of psychoactive THC in marijuana but not hemp. Read the article in Genome Biology.
DNA 'off switch' may reverse premature aging, according to GBB Student Jonathan Olsen and GBB Faculty Member Andrew Emili, and colleagues - 16 June 2011. Senior author Karim Mekhail, of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, along with his GBB colleagues and others, reports that the lifespan of a yeast cell can be affected by unused DNA near a given cell’s nuclear envelope. See this news item in the University of Toronto Bulletin and the original work in Developmental Cell.
GBB Faculty Member Stephen Scherer is one of 50 reasons to love Toronto now - 11 May 2011. Scherer is described by Toronto Life magazine as bringing us amazingly close to decoding the complicated disorder of autism through the use of high-resolution genome scanning methods. See the Toronto Life website or the June 2011 print issue.
GBB Faculty Members Brenda Andrews, Charlie Boone, and Elizabeth Edwards elected as members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science - 13 January 2011. Andrews and Boone were honoured for their contributions to yeast genetics and genomics, while Edwards was cited for her distinguished contributions to the fields of environmental microbiology and engineering, particularly the biodegradation, biotransformation and bioremediation of organic pollutants in soil and water. See the U of T Bulletin article.
GBB Faculty Member Jeff Wrana honoured with Premier's Summit Award - 19 May 2010. Jeff Wrana's work on understanding how cellular signalling has gone awry in the case of cancer was honoured through a Premier's Summit Award, from the Government of Ontario. See the Toronto Star article.
GBB Faculty Member Benjamin Blencowe and U of T researcher Brendan Frey crack splicing code - 6 May 2010. Blencowe and Frey are corresponding authors on the 6th of May 2010 cover article in Nature by Yoseph Barash et al. that describes the assembly of a 'splicing code'. This code uses combinations of hundreds of RNA features to predict alternative splicing for thousands of exons in a tissue-specific manner. The authors have developed a Website for Alternative Splicing Prediction, WASP, for de novo predictions of alternative splicing based on this code, see the WASP server.
U of T computational biologist and GBB Program Committee member Michael Brudno one of 5 U of T faculty among 118 young scholars awarded 2010 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation - 19 Feb 2010. Mike Brudno, holder of a Canada Research Chair in Computational Biology, is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. Brudno and his team are developing computational methods that will reliably detect genomic differences among humans using next-generation sequencing, a technology that is dramatically changing the way biologists acquire and analyse genomic data. Such advanced tools promise to revolutionize diagnostics and improve medical treatment (source: U of T Bulletin).
Bronze for GBB-sponsored U of T iGEM Team - 2 Nov 2009. The University of Toronto's GBB-sponsored 2009 international Genetically Engineer Machines (iGEM) team co-advised by GBB members Prof. John Parkinson, Graham Cromar, and Stacy Hung received a bronze medal in this year's iGEM Jamboree held at MIT. Congratulations!
Dynemo considered one of 25 world-changing ideas from Torontonians - Dec 2009. Toronto Life Magazine has chosen GBB student Ian Taylor and GBB faculty member Jeff Wrana's cancer survival prediction tool, Dynemo, as one of 25 world-changing ideas from Torontonians. Quaid Morris and Tony Pawson of the GBB program were also co-authors on the Dynemo paper.
GBB Member Christopher Yip elected to American Academy for the Advancement of Science - 14 Feb 2009. The AAAS honoured Chris and 4 other University of Toronto researchers on 14 Feb 2009 at its annual meeting in Chicago.
Cell conversations have world talking. Mount Sinai biologist's cellular communication work has rippled across all of biomedical science - 18 Feb 2009. Read about GBB member Tony Pawson in the Toronto Star, as he is honoured for the 2008 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences by matching funds from the Ontario Government.
Breast cancer survival predicted by new Canadian tool - 1 Feb 2009. See story describing GBB student Ian Taylor and GBB faculty member Jeff Wrana's predictive tool, published in Nature Biotechnology, in the Financial Post. Quaid Morris and Tony Pawson of the GBB program were also co-authors on this paper.