Labrador fossils hint at warmer weather in region's past - The Southern Gazette - Canadanewsmedia
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Labrador fossils hint at warmer weather in region's past – The Southern Gazette

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SCHEFFERVILLE, Que. —

Fossils found at an abandoned mine in Labrador have helped confirm that Eastern Canada had a much warmer climate when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

A team of paleontologists went to the old Redmond No. 1 mine site near Schefferville and found hundreds of specimens to analyze.

A Platanus leaf curated at the Yale Peabody Museum, recovered from the Redmond no.1 mine in 1958, and one of the already known leaf morphotypes, is also included in this study.

They went to the site because back in the 1950s fossilized leaves and insects found there led paleontologists to speculate that the area had once been much warmer. Now, using a tool called the Climate Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program, they were able to give the first published quantitative estimate of the region’s climate during the Cretaceous period.

The lead author of the paper produced by the team, National Geographic Explorer and McGill grad student Alexandre Demers-Potvin, said the mean temperature in the area would have been around 15 degrees Celsius, with high humidity and hot summers.

“We were able to put numbers on what had been estimated before,” he said. “By quantifying the temperature and precipitation and all sorts of measurements for this site its now easier to compare it with sites around the world with a similar climate.”

Demers-Potvin said the area was suggested to him by Professor Hans Larsson, Vertebrate paleontologist and director of the Redpath Museum at McGill University, who is now his graduate studies advisor.

“I had no idea that we had fossils from the age of the dinosaurs that close to home,” he said in a phone interview with the Labrador Voice. “When I looked at what was already known of this site, it wasn’t much.”

He said there had been very little written about the site and approximately 40 insect fossils had been found there in the past, with only five species identified.

“They had been pretty much forgotten by the world, except by people who worked in the mines or who work in paleontology in the area,” he said “When this site was found in 1957 people would find broadleaf tree leaves in there, and at another site nearby people would find almost complete tree trunks standing up, almost a meter in diameter.”

A new Redpath Museum specimen, spectacular fossilized tree leaves, were collected in the Redmond no.1 mine in August 2018. It is the first leaf of that type to be found in this site, and has been included in the Cretaceous climate estimate for the region. CONTRIBUTED
A new Redpath Museum specimen, spectacular fossilized tree leaves, were collected in the Redmond no.1 mine in August 2018. It is the first leaf of that type to be found in this site, and has been included in the Cretaceous climate estimate for the region. CONTRIBUTED

Those samples found in 1957 are used in the study published by Demers-Potvin and the team, as well as the hundreds they found at the old mine site, which has large piles of broken rocks containing fossils. The team found around 220 fossilized leaves and approximately 360 insects.

Demers-Potvin said when they went to the site they didn’t have high expectations but were pleasantly surprised by the large number of fossils they found.

They were only on the site for three weeks, he said, and were only able to collect what they could find on the surface.

He would like to go back and dig a little deeper into the rubble, literally and figuratively, to shed more light on what Eastern Canada looked like in the past.

Now the team is looking more into the fossils they found on the trip last summer to try to identify them and add another piece to the picture.

He’s certain as well, he said, that there are far more fossils to be found in the Labrador Trough and if more exploration was done in the area that would be borne out.

None of the research would have been possible without a number of organizations, he said, including the Fonds de recherche Nature et technologies Québec, a National Geographic Society Early Career Grant, the Northern Scientific Training Program, a Redpath Museum Class of 66 Award, and a NSERC Discovery Grant secured by his advisor.

Evan.careen@thelabradorvoice.ca

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Scientific advance delves deeper into cancer than ever before – Abbotsford News

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Republished with permission from the BC Cancer Foundation

VANCOUVER, B.C. – BC Cancer scientists, in partnership with the University of British Columbia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Microsoft have developed a new method for analyzing cancer tissue, allowing them to learn more about cancer than previously possible. Researchers can now read the genomes of single cells within a tumour, opening up a new wave of understanding of how and why cancer develops and changes over time.

This new method is so sensitive that researchers will now be able to analyze single cells from a tissue, and decode their genomes individually. This is a key element to understanding cell evolution – including how normal, seemingly healthy cells become cancerous and why cancerous cells spread and become resistant to treatment over time. The method will unlock the answers to crucial questions like: the origins of cancer, why cancers evolve, why they become resistant to drugs and why they metastasize. This research will also be a key pathway to cancer prevention, understanding the root environmental causes of the disease.

“The ways in which the cells differ from each other turns out to be important for understanding why they stop responding to treatments,” says Dr. Samuel Aparicio, BC Cancer distinguished scientist and co-lead author on the study with Dr. Sohrab Shah, BC Cancer scientist and current chief of computational oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering. “It also tells us something about the history of the cancer; how it developed, how long it’s been inside healthy tissue, and how long it’s been growing. In some cases, a pattern of mutation in the genome might tell us that that person has been exposed to a carcinogen or some other thing in the environment which predisposes to that cancer. That’s what the methodology brings – the ability to address all of those questions.”

The new approach brings together leading-edge methods in genomics and computer science from the laboratories of Dr. Aparicio and Dr. Shah.

This advance comes nearly a decade after Dr. Aparicio and Dr. Shah and their team’s first foundational shift in decoding cancer: the ability to sequence human cancer genomes, which opened up a new era in understanding cancer and has since been transformational in the field.

The team began with two genomes, in a 2009 landmark study of cancer metastasis in a breast cancer and today has decoded more than 500,000 single cell cancer genomes, 50,000 of which are released into the public domain through this study. In the last ten years, cancer genomics findings have sparked new drug treatments, new ways of diagnosing cancer and new ways of monitoring cancer.

“Basic and translational research is essential to advancing medical discoveries that will have a profound impact on patient care,” says Dr. François Bénard, vice president, research, BC Cancer. “We are proud of the work our researchers do and the collaboration between partners including the University of British Columbia and Memorial Sloan Kettering.”

“A new era of breakthrough cancer research and treatment is here, thanks in large part to our donors who have supported Dr. Aparicio and his team at BC Cancer for the past decade, bringing hope and promise to patients in B.C.,” says Sarah Roth, president & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation.

“Sometimes obtaining the knowledge takes a bit of time and persistence, but there’s a message of hope in here,” says Dr. Aparicio. “Over the next ten years, we anticipate this technology will enable a fundamentally improved understanding of cancer biology leading to better ways to target cancers, predict response to therapy and combine interventions to improve the lives of patients.”

“We’re excited to be able to present this technology to other scientists, both at MSK and beyond,” adds Dr. Shah.

Research teams in the United Kingdom and United States have already begun to adopt the methodology developed at BC Cancer in Vancouver.

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Scientific advance delves deeper into cancer than ever before – Barriere Star Journal

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Republished with permission from the BC Cancer Foundation

VANCOUVER, B.C. – BC Cancer scientists, in partnership with the University of British Columbia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Microsoft have developed a new method for analyzing cancer tissue, allowing them to learn more about cancer than previously possible. Researchers can now read the genomes of single cells within a tumour, opening up a new wave of understanding of how and why cancer develops and changes over time.

This new method is so sensitive that researchers will now be able to analyze single cells from a tissue, and decode their genomes individually. This is a key element to understanding cell evolution – including how normal, seemingly healthy cells become cancerous and why cancerous cells spread and become resistant to treatment over time. The method will unlock the answers to crucial questions like: the origins of cancer, why cancers evolve, why they become resistant to drugs and why they metastasize. This research will also be a key pathway to cancer prevention, understanding the root environmental causes of the disease.

“The ways in which the cells differ from each other turns out to be important for understanding why they stop responding to treatments,” says Dr. Samuel Aparicio, BC Cancer distinguished scientist and co-lead author on the study with Dr. Sohrab Shah, BC Cancer scientist and current chief of computational oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering. “It also tells us something about the history of the cancer; how it developed, how long it’s been inside healthy tissue, and how long it’s been growing. In some cases, a pattern of mutation in the genome might tell us that that person has been exposed to a carcinogen or some other thing in the environment which predisposes to that cancer. That’s what the methodology brings – the ability to address all of those questions.”

The new approach brings together leading-edge methods in genomics and computer science from the laboratories of Dr. Aparicio and Dr. Shah.

This advance comes nearly a decade after Dr. Aparicio and Dr. Shah and their team’s first foundational shift in decoding cancer: the ability to sequence human cancer genomes, which opened up a new era in understanding cancer and has since been transformational in the field.

The team began with two genomes, in a 2009 landmark study of cancer metastasis in a breast cancer and today has decoded more than 500,000 single cell cancer genomes, 50,000 of which are released into the public domain through this study. In the last ten years, cancer genomics findings have sparked new drug treatments, new ways of diagnosing cancer and new ways of monitoring cancer.

“Basic and translational research is essential to advancing medical discoveries that will have a profound impact on patient care,” says Dr. François Bénard, vice president, research, BC Cancer. “We are proud of the work our researchers do and the collaboration between partners including the University of British Columbia and Memorial Sloan Kettering.”

“A new era of breakthrough cancer research and treatment is here, thanks in large part to our donors who have supported Dr. Aparicio and his team at BC Cancer for the past decade, bringing hope and promise to patients in B.C.,” says Sarah Roth, president & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation.

“Sometimes obtaining the knowledge takes a bit of time and persistence, but there’s a message of hope in here,” says Dr. Aparicio. “Over the next ten years, we anticipate this technology will enable a fundamentally improved understanding of cancer biology leading to better ways to target cancers, predict response to therapy and combine interventions to improve the lives of patients.”

“We’re excited to be able to present this technology to other scientists, both at MSK and beyond,” adds Dr. Shah.

Research teams in the United Kingdom and United States have already begun to adopt the methodology developed at BC Cancer in Vancouver.

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Scientific advance delves deeper into cancer than ever before – Similkameen Spotlight

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Republished with permission from the BC Cancer Foundation

VANCOUVER, B.C. – BC Cancer scientists, in partnership with the University of British Columbia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Microsoft have developed a new method for analyzing cancer tissue, allowing them to learn more about cancer than previously possible. Researchers can now read the genomes of single cells within a tumour, opening up a new wave of understanding of how and why cancer develops and changes over time.

This new method is so sensitive that researchers will now be able to analyze single cells from a tissue, and decode their genomes individually. This is a key element to understanding cell evolution – including how normal, seemingly healthy cells become cancerous and why cancerous cells spread and become resistant to treatment over time. The method will unlock the answers to crucial questions like: the origins of cancer, why cancers evolve, why they become resistant to drugs and why they metastasize. This research will also be a key pathway to cancer prevention, understanding the root environmental causes of the disease.

“The ways in which the cells differ from each other turns out to be important for understanding why they stop responding to treatments,” says Dr. Samuel Aparicio, BC Cancer distinguished scientist and co-lead author on the study with Dr. Sohrab Shah, BC Cancer scientist and current chief of computational oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering. “It also tells us something about the history of the cancer; how it developed, how long it’s been inside healthy tissue, and how long it’s been growing. In some cases, a pattern of mutation in the genome might tell us that that person has been exposed to a carcinogen or some other thing in the environment which predisposes to that cancer. That’s what the methodology brings – the ability to address all of those questions.”

The new approach brings together leading-edge methods in genomics and computer science from the laboratories of Dr. Aparicio and Dr. Shah.

This advance comes nearly a decade after Dr. Aparicio and Dr. Shah and their team’s first foundational shift in decoding cancer: the ability to sequence human cancer genomes, which opened up a new era in understanding cancer and has since been transformational in the field.

The team began with two genomes, in a 2009 landmark study of cancer metastasis in a breast cancer and today has decoded more than 500,000 single cell cancer genomes, 50,000 of which are released into the public domain through this study. In the last ten years, cancer genomics findings have sparked new drug treatments, new ways of diagnosing cancer and new ways of monitoring cancer.

“Basic and translational research is essential to advancing medical discoveries that will have a profound impact on patient care,” says Dr. François Bénard, vice president, research, BC Cancer. “We are proud of the work our researchers do and the collaboration between partners including the University of British Columbia and Memorial Sloan Kettering.”

“A new era of breakthrough cancer research and treatment is here, thanks in large part to our donors who have supported Dr. Aparicio and his team at BC Cancer for the past decade, bringing hope and promise to patients in B.C.,” says Sarah Roth, president & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation.

“Sometimes obtaining the knowledge takes a bit of time and persistence, but there’s a message of hope in here,” says Dr. Aparicio. “Over the next ten years, we anticipate this technology will enable a fundamentally improved understanding of cancer biology leading to better ways to target cancers, predict response to therapy and combine interventions to improve the lives of patients.”

“We’re excited to be able to present this technology to other scientists, both at MSK and beyond,” adds Dr. Shah.

Research teams in the United Kingdom and United States have already begun to adopt the methodology developed at BC Cancer in Vancouver.

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