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Making it fit: Supporting a Decent Standard of Living Within Planetary Boundaries
By Helen Murphy
The AAAS Annual Meeting is an unique opportunity to see how some of the world’s greatest minds are tackling the world’s biggest problems. And when it comes to problems, it doesn’t get much bigger than world hunger.
How do we maintain the economic growth necessary to provide all people with a decent standard of living while also enhancing the ecosystem processes required for human survival and well-being? Five sustainability experts from around the world addressed that question Saturday morning.
Jonathan A. Foley, University of Minnesota, St. Paul presented a number of strategies that could increase world-wide food production by up to 100 percent. They include maximizing yield potentials according to what the local need is (in some cases plant genetics, in others low-tech solutions such as better fertilization or irrigation.) Read More »
The province of British Columbia has seen encouraging results in the use of HIV/AIDS treatment as a way to prevent new cases of infection. The data was presented by Julio Montaner and Evan Wood of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at the University of British Columbia.
In the mid-90s, Vancouver had one of the highest HIV infection rates in the developed world. Infections were more concentrated in Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside – about 10 blocks east of this year’s AAAS meetings. This made the neighbourhood, with a large number of intravenous drug users (IDU), an ideal living laboratory in which to study possible solutions to the epidemic.
The treatment that emerged as the most effective is highly active antiretroviral therapy, known as HAART. From the time HIV/AIDS was first discovered in the mid-80s until the early to mid-90s, the mortality rate as well as the rate of new infections in British Columbia increased steadily. From about 1993 to 2003, the province saw a rapid decrease in the death rate, as well as improved life expectancy among the HIV-positive population. Read More »
By Helen Murphy, AUCC
What are the true costs of coal? Coal production is projected to increase with the growing energy demands of a population that could reach 9 billion by 2050. What does this mean for communities and ecosystems?
This issue was tackled by Samir Doshi, Queen’s University and other experts Sunday afternoon. Doshi presented on “Mining Coal, Altering Communities, and Changing the Climate.”
Read More »
Is there anything an astronaut can’t do?
AAAS 2012 Family Science Days is a hot ticket this weekend in Vancouver. Science fans from across Vancouver are checking out AAAS 2012 to see what the science buzz is all about. From the Vancouver Aquarium to NASA to the Let’s Talk Science exhibits, there’s plenty to see and do.
Notes from the Exhibition Floor
“Is there anything an astronaut can’t do?” mused one passerby. Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield wowed the crowed as he spoke about his upcoming role at the helm of the Space Station. “He’s great with kids, inspires teenagers to dream big about science and takes science into Space.” Read More »
By Kathryn Anthonisen, CANARIE Inc.
Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, kicked off a Sunday morning session that focused on “The Global Quest for Excellence.” Dr. Fortier had brought together representatives from Germany, France and Canada to discuss their models for fostering excellence in research and innovation.
Matthias Kleiner, from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in Bonn, Germany, discussed his country’s Excellence Initiative, which was started in 2005 and prompted by the fact that many German graduate students pursued their studies abroad, and that no German university was listed among the world’s Top 50. To address these issues, and to promote a culture of innovation and excellence among Germany’s 100 universities, the Excellence Initiative was created. Read More »
It’s some of the most sophisticated technology on earth — but it won’t stay on earth for long.
Quantum communications networks promise to securely connect people on earth using state-of-the-art satellite technologies.
This afternoon at the AAAS Annual Meeting, a team of leading international scientists will explain how they are taming the subatomic world of quantum mechanics to create an entirely new breed of information and communication technologies.
Check out “Quantum Information Technologies: A New Era for Global Communication” today at 3 p.m. in Room 118. The session is organized by Waterloo, Ontario’s Institute for Quantum Computing and Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Here’s a taste of what’s in store:
Following the excellent session on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 at the AAAS, organized by the AUCC, “Establishing reseach collaboration with emerging economies: Canada’s experience in India and Brazil“, interested parties in Brazil should be aware of the second Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE)/Congrès des Amériques sur l’éducation internationale (CAEI) from April 25 to 28, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The CAIE represents an information sharing forum and networking opportunity for academic collaboration and mobility in the Americas. Pls see www.caie-caei.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
Message by: K. O’Neil, Policy Advisor, International Education and Youth, DFAIT.
Sorry, this post is only available in French.
Posted by Ryan Saxby Hill, Canada Foundation for Innovation
Michael Hayden is quick to admit that the promise of the genetic revolution has not been widely felt. As one of Canada’s top geneticists, he also has some ideas on where we might go from here. Hayden is widely recognized for his work in fighting Huntington’s disease, and he is now looking at where genome research can further inform the treatment of other diseases.
In his lecture at this year’s AAAS meeting, Hayden argued that the “black swans” of the human genome can offer us new hope for clinical applications for genetics. Black swans are the outliers of the genetic world and can be an important source of genetic information. When a family has an unusual immunity to pain, for example, you have black swans. When a group of sex-workers carries HIV, but never develop AIDS, they are considered black swans. “As a geneticist, we treasure our black swans,” said Hayden.
Read more of this article at the Innovation.ca Blog