USS students brush up on science of genomics, DNA

The Genome BC Geneskool arrived in Ucluelet last week to deliver two hour-long workshops to Ucluelet Secondary School science students.

A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA.

For example, a person consists of roughly 20 trillion cells with each one containing about 23,000 genes; the entire collection of genes is a genome.

Understanding how to read this information is the art of genomics and wielding this art could lead to the creation of better medicines and increase the effectiveness of existing medicines, according to the California-based Jackson Laboratory.

“By understanding the predictive power of patients’ genomes and the products of those genomes, it should be possible to identify individuals at risk of disease and to create smarter, more effective treatments for those who are already ill,” according to the Duke Institute for Genome sciences and policy.

This level of science can obviously be intimidating for high school students and USS teacher Michael Chapman was stoked to welcome Genome BC’s Geneskool programming to both his Grade 10 and 11 science classes on April 10.

“For the older kids its a great opportunity for them to get their feet wet and potentially look into doing some science courses at a post secondary institute and with the younger kids it’s great because it’s something that is informative and fun and just a great learning experience,” Chapman said. “One of the great things about this is they take some of the somewhat complex scientific things and are able to translate it into a fun activity so the kids don’t get intimidated when they hear about things like genotype phenotype and alleles.” Genome BC works with governments, academia and industry in sectors like forestry, aquaculture, and mining, to generate social and economic benefits for BC and Canada, according to it’s website.

The Geneskool’s programming is free and available to any BC school that asks for it, according to vice president of communications and education Sally Greenwood.

“We understand that genomics is kind of a disruptive new innovative technology and we feel it’s our responsibility and our opportunity to provide the next generation with skills and understanding around genomics and new technology,” she told the Westerly News, “So that they will have better understanding, see the relevance of it, and that there will be greater uptake and then we’ll really be able to realize the benefits of the technology.” She said without bringing the next generation up to speed on genomics, the science’s true potential will never be realized.

“Teachers are strapped schools are strapped and what we’re trying to do is just provide more exciting opportunities, maybe some lab tests and some tools and techniques, that the regular school system is not able to support on a regular basis,” she said.

“We bring in PhD and masters students and people who are

Just Posted

Extreme waves and king tides expected around Tofino and Ucluelet this weekend

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Ucluelet says goodbye to town’s only sports bar

“It started off big and we’re on the backside of the mountain now.”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Four Tofino businesses up for Vancouver Island Excellence Awards

Tofino’s business community is shining with four Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards… Continue reading

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Most Read