Viewing the genome as a collection of recipes rather than a catalogue of genes is fundamentally changing how we think about and treat genetic diseases such as cancers, spinal muscular atrophy and autism. The implications for you personally and for the sustainability of health care are shocking.
For more information on Dr. Frey’s talk:
Dr. Frey’s lab’s website
Exciting new genetics research is in the news almost daily. Companies promise (for a fee) to analyze your genome (but beware!). Despite the hype, the real discoveries are truly extraordinary and are transforming our understanding of normal biology, and how we manage and treat disease.
Co-sponsored by the Gairdner Foundation
What happens in our brains that allows us to calculate and become mathematically fluent? As the brain develops, the structures and functions associated with calculation change dynamically. In this talk of interest to educators, parents and anyone who has ever felt “mathematically challenged”, we will explore how individual differences in competence and strategy-use affect the brain as we calculate.
Numerical Cognition Laboratory at Western University
Each year, billions of migratory organisms on our planet commute vast distances between their temperate breeding grounds and tropical overwintering habitats. I will share with you how we’ve uncovered some of these incredible, record-breaking migrations and, using an example of the iconic monarch butterfly, show why tracking individuals over the course of the annual cycle is fundamental for their successful conservation.
In the field, people can now record plant and animal sightings in real time with their smart phones. At the same time, emerging radio tracking technology known as “motus” (from the Latin for “motion”) is transforming bird migration research. Together, these open the door to new “citizen science” and exciting discoveries in both the academic and recreational realms, key to conserving birds and all wildlife.
Sir John Franklin’s third expedition, the most infamous European voyage to navigate a sea route through the Canadian Arctic, has captivated people in Canada and around the world for a century and a half. Explore recent archaeological research and what it tells us about the lives and deaths of these explorers has revealed about the lives and deaths these explorers. Join the voyage as we revisit the momentous finds that led to the discovery of Franklin’s long-lost ship Erebus.
Circadian rhythms are 24-hour biological rhythms that affect our health and behaviour, influencing many things, from the best time to take a test, to the timing of a heart attack or stroke, to the arrival of death itself. Recent discoveries about the mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms have implications on how we organize school, work, social, and medical schedules.
Thanks to NASA’s Mars Rovers, we know much more about our planetary neighbour than we did a decade ago. Controlled from Earth, experiments conducted by the Rover instruments reveal that Mars was once a more habitable place. A key instrument on all 4 Mars Rovers and also on the Rosetta mission lander, Philae, is the Canadian APXS experiment, a soda-can sized device that measures the composition of rocks and soils.
Co-Sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Toronto Centre.
An afternoon of engaging hands-on activities geared towards children 6-12 years and their families, sharing the excitement of science, technology, engineering and math.
Volunteers running the activities will include post-secondary students who are eager to share their passion for science and can help answer your questions.
Doors open at 1:30 pm
Event ends at 3:30 pm
On average, we urban dwellers spend about 90% of our time indoors, and share the strong intuition that the physical features of the places we live and work in influence how we feel and act. Explore how the brain responds to variations in the physical features of our environments, and the effect this has on our appreciation for various types of spaces and our decisions to enter or exit it.
This presentation briefly sketches the evolution of urban form and transportation and then explores issues and options for evolving 21st Century cities into more sustainable, attractive “homes” for people and firms.
Dr. Michael Strong, Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Distinguished University Professor at Western University
Rather than being a single disease entity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is now considered to be a syndrome in which the death of motor neurons occurs through a wide range of pathological processes. However, there is now emerging a consensus view that alterations in RNA metabolism play a critical role and perhaps the final common pathway uniting these pathological processes. In this lecture, we will review the evidence that, for the majority of cases, that ALS is a disorder of RNA metabolism.
In partnership with the Gairdner Foundation
Prof Bryan Gaensler, Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, and Canadian Science Director for the Square Kilometre Array
Some of the biggest questions about our Universe are as yet unsolved. How did the first stars form? What is the mysterious “dark energy” that is pushing the Universe apart? And are there other planets out there like our own, perhaps harbouring life? To answer these and other key questions, astronomers are about to build the biggest telescope ever conceived, the Square Kilometre Array. Prof Gaensler will describe this enormous international project, the results it promises to deliver, and the major role being played by Canadian scientists and engineers in this exciting endeavour.
In partnership with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Toronto Centre
Photo credit – Daniel Boud, University of Sydney
For more information on this topic:
Square Kilometer Array – Canadian website
Jane Heffernan, PhD, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University
Mathematical models can be used to describe the spread of infectious diseases and how infections affect your immune system. We will discuss diseases such as influenza, measles, pertussis, and HIV.
Professional Engineer with the Province of Ontario, Assistant Professor in the Biological Engineering program of the University of Guelph, Director of the BioNano Laboratory
The risk of a major biological incident in farmed animals, such as the emergence of a novel infectious agent and/or a global pandemic, is on the rise due to globalization and ecological pressures. Anticipating when and where an incident may occur can enable a timely and well-informed response. The 4th revolution in agriculture has begun, bringing novel technologies such as Internet of Things, SMART and Precision Agriculture and mobile ‘apps’ for disease surveillance. I will discuss nanosensor biotechnologies for innovative detection and advanced diagnostics for farmed animal health management.
Chris Fletcher, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo
Human activities are changing Earth’s climate, making it imperative to determine the impact on climate if we continue to use fossil fuels. I will explore computer models of the climate system which allow us to gaze into the future by making projections of how Earth’s climate could evolve over the coming century.
Hosted by Ryerson University.
Large-scale brain models have become a mainstay of “big science”. Currently, Canada has the largest functional brain model known as “Spaun”. This brain model produces behaviour comparable to people and animals. Researchers use Spaun to understand normal brain function, disorders, the effects of drugs and how to build smarter artificial agents.
Catherine Scott, PhD Student, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto Scarborough
Darwin wrote, “who indeed could suspect that [spiders] should be susceptible of the finer feelings? Yet such is the fact.” The private lives of spiders are filled with fine scents, sounds, and silk. This discussion of the sophisticated sexual communication system of the black widow spiders is the perfect way to celebrate both Valentine’s day and Darwin’s theory of sexual selection.
Catherine’s blog: spiderbytes.org, @Cataranea on twitter
Cesar Hidalgo, Associate Professor at MIT, Director of Macro Connections at MIT Media Lab
Making sense of data requires the development of tools that can transform data into narratives. In this presentation I show various examples of tools that we have created at The MIT Media Lab that facilitate the ability of people to construct visual narratives from large datasets. These data visualization engines include (i) the Observatory of Economic Complexity (atlas.media.mit.edu), a comprehensive effort to visualize international trade data; (ii) DataViva (dataviva.info), a tool visualizing data for the entire formal sector economy of Brazil; (iii) Pantheon (pantheon.media.mit.edu), a tool focused on human collective memory centered on data from globally famous biographies; (iv) Immersion (immersion.media.mit.edu), a tool that focuses the interface of email on people to reveal your personal story of professional and personal interactions; (v) Place Pulse and StreetScore (pulse.media.mit.edu & streetscore.media.mit.edu), which are tools exploring the physical evolution of cities, and (vi) DataUSA, a tool that visualizes public data for the entire United States. I conclude by demoing a prototype of (vii) DIVE, a data visualization and integration tool that helps automate the creation of data driven narratives.
In partnership with the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences
Mr. Ken Knox,
Chair of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Council (STIC), CEO of Knox-Vannest Inc
The Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) is an independent body that advises the Government of Canada on science, technology and innovation. With STIC’s latest “State of the Nation” report, I will explore how Canada’s performance compares to the rest of the world in science & technology innovation.
For further reading, visit the STIC website and download the “2014 State of the Nation” report.