In The News

Office of the Premier: Ontario Names Molly Shoichet the Province’s First Chief Scientist

November 17, 2017

Ontario has appointed Molly Shoichet to advance science and innovation in the province -- and to make government smarter and more effective by providing decision-makers with the world's best scientific research and evidence. The Chief Scientist will advise Premier Kathleen Wynne directly on key scientific matters, demonstrating Ontario's ongoing commitment to grow our economy by investing in scientific research and promoting our world-class science both at home and to international audiences. Shoichet, a professor at the University of Toronto and a member of the Order of Ontario, will report to Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. Read the full article here.

The Hamilton Spectator: McMaster students win international prize for cancer-detecting devices

November 16, 2017

A group of four McMaster University students has won a $50,000 prize to develop their idea for a hand-held device that detects skin cancer. The recent grads — all students in electrical biomedical engineering at the Hamilton university — earned the International James Dyson Award for their final-year project, called The sKan. They say the non-invasive device can diagnose melanoma by monitoring the heat emissions of various cells. The heat map it creates shows which cells recover more quickly from thermal shock, indicating the presence of skin cancer. Its creators are 22-year-old Rotimi Fadiya, and 23-year-olds Prateek Mathur, Michael Takla and Shivad Bhavsar. Read the full article here.

The Globe and Mail: Why don’t women go into engineering? It’s not just because of bias

November 15, 2017

What kind of program is more likely to lead to an increase of women graduating with engineering degrees: A college or university scholarship for promising high-school students, unconscious bias training for human resource managers or an intensive math and science education program for girls in elementary school?

New research shows that if governments have to choose, focusing their efforts on early learning interventions will have the most impact. A scholarship would come too late for the thousands of women who close the path to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as children. And addressing bias and hiring more women into those fields will help, too, primarily by providing more models of success for younger generations.

Read the full article here.

Guelph Today: Arts-based drop-in centre for LGBTQ+ youth begins pilot project

November 7, 2017

The Guelph Youth Council is hoping a five-week pilot projecting offering a drop-in space for LGBTQ+ youth will be a success with the possibility to become a permanent fixture. Jenn Bucci, Youth Services coordinator with the City of Guelph, said the LGBTQ+ drop-in centre will be operated from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the next five Fridays at Evergreen Seniors Centre on Woolwich St. No seniors events are planned at the centre over the course of the five-week pilot program, said Bucci, so the drop-in centre will not interfere with seniors programming. The need for a dedicated drop-in space for LGBTQ+ youth was identified by third-year University of Guelph student Sophia Thompson Campbell, who is in a 12-week placement with the City’s Youth Services as part of her Youth Development program. Read the full article here.

The Toronto Star: Skipping breakfast might be healthier than eating sugary foods in the morning

October 24, 2017

This made me wonder: should I kick my morning-eat-a-thon to the curb and wait for lunch? To help me out (I’m a reader and can ask questions for this column too, you know!), I turned to Dr. Nick Bellissimo, associate professor and director of the Nutrition Discovery Labs at Ryerson University. He agreed to put me through an experiment that would give me an answer. But before we get to that, here’s what the research says about feasting or fasting right after you wake up. Read the full article here.

Ottawa Citizen: Groundbreaking research shows Ottawa firefighters absorb harmful chemicals through skin

October 20, 2017

Like most firefighters, Ottawa Fire Capt. David Matschke has watched colleagues, including close friends, die from cancer. It is a common story among firefighters, who are exposed to harmful toxins on the job. Most know all too well the price some of their colleagues pay for that exposure. A growing body of evidence has shown firefighters have an increased risk of cancer and other serious illnesses compared to the general population, partly due to their exposure to hazardous chemicals from the smoke. Ontario introduced so-called presumptive legislation in 2007 to address the reality of firefighters and cancer — the onus was no longer on firefighters and investigators to prove their cancer was work related, but assumed to be. The province initially included eight forms of cancer on that list and has since expanded it. That reality and the need to understand more clearly what and how firefighters are exposed is what drove Matschke and Ottawa fire officials to seek better information with which to protect themselves. Read the full article here.