Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I think that your genetic information should be kept confidential between you and whomever you wish to disclose it to... similar to the conversations held between friends, personal psychologists, or lawyers. I would like to know about my own DNA just like I'd like to know if I had cancer or was HIV positive.You should never have to mandatorily present it at any time unless you are a suspect for a crime. Just like family history, religion, and skin colour, your DNA should not be a factor during a job interview; but if telling your doctor about it could save your life... well, who wouldn't want to share?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Vancouver Week Three: "last but not least"

Given that DNA can be used to predict the likelihood of getting certain diseases, should anybody be entitled to have access to your genetic data? For example life insurance companies already ask health questions and perform blood tests to determine your insurability and would probably find your genetic information very useful. As a further example, your physician maybe able to provide you with better treatment if he or she was able to determine your predispositions for genetic diseases. Would YOU want to know? Share your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vancouver Week Two: The Fun Continues..."

Share your thoughts on Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagostics (PIGD). Assuming that there are no boundaries as to what PIGD can detect, to what extent do you think PIGD should be permitted? Should there be laws controlling the use of PIGD?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Biotrek hits the West Coast!

If you could know whether you were likely to suffer from a serious genetic disease like breast or colo-rectal cancer would you want to? How would your life change? Would you like to know whether your children would carry these gene mutations before they are born?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

BioTrek in Edmonton

If a gene for depression was identified, would you perform PIGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) in order to select a child who did not carry the allele for depression? Share your thoughts.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Calgary Down, Edmonton Up Next!

With the Calgary BioTrek session completed, I wanted to know what everyones favorite part of BioTrek was and any experiments or discussons you wish we could have had while in the lab. (And for any of the Edmonton people reading, watch out for the E.Coli)

Iain :)

BioTrek Artwork

Here is a BioTrek artwork Megan drew on the computer before class started today.

Iain :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

BioTrek Rodeo

If you could select for traits in your children using PIGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis), would you want to do it? Which traits would you select for? Share your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

BioTrek in Steinbach

We humans now have the ability to move genes from one species to another. (In fact, today we performed a transgenic experiment ourselves.) Under what circumstances, if any, do you think we should move DNA from species to species?

Thursday, July 06, 2006


MY BABY MUNTANT E-COLI SURVIVED! I mean who would have thought it. yesterday (wednesday) we moved our little E-coli into other containers chalked full of LB Agar solution (some really smelly discusting gel like substance that the E-coli like to eat...eew), but at the same time it was also chalked full of anti-biotics. We made it so the GM (Genetically Modified) E-coli bacteria were imune to ampicillin by putting a specific gene in with th pGLO gene (the one that makes 'em glow under UV light)this gene was called the Bla gene. It made the e-coli release enzymes that cut up the ampicillin effectivly destoying it so the E-coli were able to live in such an environment. And today after lunch we made them GLOW! It was very fun.

To test or not to test...that is the question!

When/If you are having a baby, would you want to perform PIGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis)? Would you do it only to test for genetic diseases or also to select for certain traits? Share your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Just an update on the petri dishes. On Tuesday, we let them be, and let them multiply as bacteria tend to do. But today, after finishing with all the media things, we worked more on them. To put it simply, we transferred the jellyfish (not squid) gene and the bacteria into some more petri dishes, and we can only hope now that the bacteria will decide to take the gene into themselves. To accomplish this, we had to use a heatshock method (basically involved rapidly cooling and heating the bacteria) along with a large dosage of calcium. Well, that's all for now, guess everybody will see how they did tomorrow. Sigh, now if only I could remember how to make the text glow through html...

Oh yeah, if anybody needs to reach me, my email is

Monday, July 03, 2006

!It's Working!

Well here I am at 11 at night (well almost 11) after my first day of BioTrek which was absolutely amazing, much better than anything I could have hoped for. The DNA purifying lab was fun... I hope my little beaker dries out by tomorrow assuming I (By I, I mean Melissa) put enough glue on it because sadly I couldn't manage to get any on it myself *crys*.
I hope my little E-coli are happy in their little petri dish homes and are multiplying happily, well I'll find out if I accidently killed them tomorrow. Then I get to make them little mutants sometime within the next four days assuming in the former comment that they're still alive (chances of this are sadly slim). Well I just came onto the blog to make sure it worked which by the fact that I'm writing this I assume that it is. G'night everyone.


This is just a test to show that admin has access to the BioTrek blog.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Welcome to the Blog

This year in BioTrek participants will have the opportunity to share what they are learning about biotechnology with the world. Blog on!