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The Code of Life

Apr 2021

Ep. 012: Bridging the Genomic Divide (w/ Nadine Caron, Laura Arbour, Britt Morgan)

Genomics has advanced health care by allowing medical treatments to be tailored to the specific needs of individual patients in what is sometimes described as ‘precision medicine’. But these genomic technologies, and the research that drives them, can be difficult for Indigenous populations to access or participate in. This is creating a genomic divide that prevents accurate diagnosis.  A group of scientists hope to change that - to improve outcomes not only for Indigenous Peoples - but all Canadians.

Feb 2021

Ep. 011: Upping your Game: Sports and Genomics (w/ Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy & Dr. Nanci Guest)

In sports, any leg up to help edge out the competition is welcome.  In fact, diet, sleep and supplements are key strategies that athletes have used for years to enhance their performance.  And increasingly, genetics and genomics are playing a role – not just for elite athletes – but anyone who wants to improve their performance. 

Dec 2020

Ep. 010: Policy, treatment and prevention: Fighting COVID-19, Pt. 2 (w/ Mel Krajden, Carl Hansen, Bonnie Henry)

This episode picks up where the last one left off: a Q&A with BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, Dr. Mel Krajden, Medical Director at the BC Centre for Disease Control, and Dr. Carl Hansen, CEO of AbCellera. In this episode you’ll hear the most pressing questions answered about the pandemic- how we got here and where we are going.

Nov 2020

Ep. 009: Policy, treatment and prevention: Fighting COVID-19, Pt. 1 (w/ Mel Krajden, Carl Hansen, Bonnie Henry)

In October of 2020 Genome British Columbia’s Don Rix Distinguished Keynote was focused on ‘fighting Covid-19 at the intersection of policy, treatment and prevention’. The panelists were Drs. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia; Mel Krajden, medical director of the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Public Health Laboratory; and Carl Hansen, Chief Executive Officer, AbCellera.

The panelists discussed the importance of providing applicable and real time evidence for policy from their diverse perspectives in industry, public policy and public health. The engaging discussion covered areas such as inequities in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of the public sector in dealing with uncertainty, and issues to be addressed so we are in a better position locally and globally for a next outbreak.

Nov 2020

Ep. 008: Re-writing the Code of Life (w/ Drs. Beth Simpson & Sheila Singh)

Two scientists recently shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for transforming an obscure bacterial immune mechanism, called CRISPR, into “genetic scissors” – an editing tool for re-writing the code of life.

The two female Nobel Prize winners accomplished this through collaboration – which is exactly how two Canadian scientists – also women – are working to crack the code on two incurable diseases – a type of congenital blindness in children, and a deadly form of brain tumours.

Sep 2020

Ep. 007: How Genomics is Helping Combat Invasive Pests & Pathogens (w/ Richard Hamelin, UBC)

Healthy forests support a healthy environment. They purify the water and the air, maintain wildlife habitats and help preserve healthy soils, just to name a few.  Studies are also showing human health is directly related to healthy forests.  But increasingly our forests are facing unprecedented threats… from invasive species and pathogens that can cause irreversible damage. 

Once again, science, and scientists are coming to the rescue.  Quietly studying these threats, coming up with devices to help uncover and stop them before they can establish and spread. 




The Code of Life is a partnered program of Conversations That Matter, brought to you by GenomeBC. For more information on Genome BC's work, visit

Aug 2020

Ep. 006: How Genomics is Helping Eradicate Malaria (w/ Drs. Lea Toe and Jennifer Gardy)

Malaria kills an estimated 400,000 people every year.  In many countries, it's the leading cause of death in children and pregnant women.  But malaria isn't just a health issue - it's also an economic one.  Countries without malaria have five times greater economic growth than countries battling  malaria. There are many tools to help fight malaria - but genomics may be the key to eradicating it once and for all.  And the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is vowing to do that by the year 2040.

Aug 2020

Ep. 005: Genomics Helping Eradicate Cervical Cancer (w/ Dr Gina Ogilvie & Dr Sarai Racey)

Every year, cervical cancer kills about 400 Canadian women. Worldwide, cervical cancer kills one woman every two minutes. But cervical cancer is a completely preventable illness. The HPV vaccine, offered to all students in Grade 6, and an accurate test that women can take themselves is enough to eliminate the disease altogether.
Two Canadian scientists are working hard to bring the tools and awareness to the world to eliminate this deadly disease forever.
Jun 2020

Ep. 004: How genomics helped the future of belugas (w/ Dr. Marty Haulena)

When the Vancouver Aquarium lost their two beloved belugas to a mysterious illness, they turned to genomics to help. They were able to completely sequence a beluga genome for the first time. The legacy of Aurora and Qila has helped scientists – and belugas – all over the world.


The Code of Life is a partnered program of Conversations That Matter, brought to you by GenomeBC. For more information on Genome BC's work, visit

#biology #whales #aquarium

Jun 2020

Ep. 003: The future of food and genomics - Shaping how we eat (w/ Lenore Newman & Dan Weary)

The way we ate 1,000 years ago is vastly different from the way we eat now. And two scientists who specialize in how food is produced believe the way we'll eat in 1,000 years will be much different than today.

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