Vol.6 No.1: In This Issue…

Biotech and Global Health
Improvement of health care and available services is one of the prominent aims of every developing country. This is becoming even more urgent in the 21st century during which pandemic diseases spread quickly and have devastating results. On the other hand, developed countries like Canada manage to improve their health care and services almost to perfection. One of the major players in their success was the development of the biotech sector and the tight connection between Medicare and the biotech industry. In this issue, Mehrdad Hariri discusses how developed countries could help pass on their knowledge to developing countries in order to help generate strong biotech and ultimately improve both their Medicare and Pharmacare. A multicultural country like Canada could only be the leader in such an effort. (Opinion p.5)

The Phantom Phantom
Researchers in the field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will collectively shout a great “Hurrah!” upon learning the identity of the mysterious phantom phantom that so often lurks in their data. Sadie Yancey takes a humorous and highly entertaining look at research. (Humour p.7)

Using Microarrays to Solve Complex Biological Problems
The final installment in a three part series on microarray technologies focuses on their applications, citing examples in the fields of drug discovery, evolutionary biology, and polymorphism analysis. These examples highlight the diversity of microarray-based research and provide a glimpse into the many exciting possibilities enabled by this technology. The challenges of high-throughput biology may be familiar to scientists in other fields who find themselves overwhelmed by increasing volumes of data. As research tools evolve to cope with new demands, it is critical that scientists work to understand these tools in order to use them most effectively. (Reviews p.9)

The Scientific Workforce
Every year in Canada, hundreds of biomedical students graduate with a PhD. Many of these students pursue postdoctoral training and later compete for coveted principal investigator (PI) positions. Unfortunately, the number of biomedical trainees produced by the current system exceeds the number of vacant PI positions, forcing many trainees to explore alternative career paths. This begs the question “Are too many PhDs being granted in the biomedical sciences?” The scientific community appears to be split on this issue; however, both sides agree that the current training system needs to be changed. An in-depth discussion of the arguments for and against reducing the number of biomedical trainees reveals the great complexity of this issue that affects not only trainees and scientists, but society at large. (Reviews p.17)

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