This Week in Canadian Science 2018-06-17

by | June 17, 2018

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Government of Canada investing close to $25M in innovative projects that will deliver new technologies to Canadians and unlock the power of AI to tackle chronic health issues

OTTAWAJune 13, 2018 /CNW/ – Artificial intelligence is changing the way Canadians live; it’s in our cars and computers, our smartphones and apps. All the more reason to unlock the power of AI to address some of the greatest health challenges Canadians face.

Today, while visiting the University of Ottawa’s Heart Institute, Parliamentary Secretary for Science, Kate Young, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and to the Minister of Health, Bill Blair, launched the next Collaborative Health Research Project (CHRP) competition.

Previous CHRP competitions have traditionally brought together engineers, those working in the natural sciences, and health researchers, who combine their talents to bring real-world solutions to real-world problems in the health sector. Under this new competition, valued at $24.875M, social scientists and humanities researchers will, for the first time, be encouraged to join research teams applying for funding. Almost $6M of the total available funds will be targeted to projects that investigate the ethical, legal, and societal impacts associated with the development and spread of AI in the health sector.”


“OTTAWA — The sales practices of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies — a long-time sore spot for many consumers — will be the subject of a public inquiry ordered by the federal government on Thursday.

“Like many Canadians, we are concerned by allegations of clearly inappropriate sales practices by telecom carriers,” Navdeep Bains, the minister responsible for telecommunications, said in a statement.

Bains said he has directed the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to conduct the investigation, including a public inquiry, and report on the sales practices used in the industry by Feb. 28.”


“Seaweed could become a staple in the diet of Canadian livestock after researchers discovered it’s a sustainable and viable option for healthy digestion in cows — and humans.

This research, which began in 2015, is somewhat of an extension of research from 2008 that showed Japanese people have more bacteria in their digestive tracts to digest the carbohydrates in nori seaweed. Abbott and his team wanted to see if this relationship extended to other seaweed varieties with different structures.”Wade Abbott, a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and his team have been using a crystallography beam line at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron to study the structure of four enzymes and how they digest agarose, a carbohydrate found in red seaweed.


“For a Toronto-based innovation accelerator, the final frontier is the next frontier.

The Creative Destruction Lab, an accelerator affiliated with the University of Toronto, is now calling for applications specifically from starry-eyed entrepreneurs with space-focused startup ideas. And the new stream already has some star power behind it ― they’ve enlisted Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield to serve as the founding fellow.

“Space is obviously something that most people have a lot of passion about, because it’s primarily unknown,” said CDL’s Sheret Ross, who’s leading the accelerator’s new space stream. The “unknown” is ripe territory for entrepreneurs, who he says are in constant search of problems to solve. They’re looking to recruit around 25 new ventures.

Mr. Ross believes there’s a substantial talent pool in Toronto’s aerospace realm, but no clear path to entrepreneurship. “It’s really going to be about public-private collaboration, and creating an ecosystem where ventures can go through,” he told The Globe and Mail.”


“What do you do if 10 quadrillion high-energy collisions in the world’s largest particle accelerator fail to reveal any new truths about the nature of reality? The answer: Revamp your machine and go for 10 times that number.

In a nutshell, that explains the groundbreaking ceremony that took place on Friday at the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, near Geneva, Switzerland.

Canada is one of dozens of countries participating in the project, which will eventually see the collider’s performance increase tenfold by the middle of the next decade. Researchers hope the higher number of collisions that result will increase the likelihood that they will spot some extremely rare clues to a more fundamental theory of matter than the current standard model of particle physics.

“It’s the next step in the development of the LHC,” said Oliver Kester, an associate director at the TRIUMF accelerator in Vancouver, one of the Canadian research centres participating in the international experiment.”


Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

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