The human genome is made up of about 3 billion base pairs — the tiny little characters which make up the sentences in the instruction manual that is our genetic code. The mechanism which converts these instructions from an “idea” to an “action” is governed by the backbone of high school genetics units: the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.

This basically states that DNA (the raw genetic material) encodes RNA which encodes proteins (the things which actually carry out different bodily functions). More specifically, DNA is transcribed to a strand of RNA comprised of four analagous ribonucleotides — adenine, guanine…

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By reading the Three Little Pigs and walking through a city

The human genome contains over three billion base pairs. Just to put that into context, if you examined one base pair each second, it would take over 94 years for you to examine them the entire thing. So it should come as no surprise that somewhat masochistically and in large part ambitiously, in 1990, the Human Genome Project was created to do just this — that is, sequence the entire human genome.

Like many things in science, this project turned out to be a race. In this case, between Celera Genomics and the IHGSC.

DNA Genotyping and Sequencing. Credit: National Cancer Institute (Unsplash)

Perhaps somewhat unsatisfactorily, both teams simultaneously…

It’s no secret that Canada, like many former European colonies, has a history rife with cultural genocide. Particularly with regards to Indigenous Peoples, our modern day circumstances are riddled with the consequences of assimilation, residential schools, forced relocation and biological warfare.

This last point may seem a little confusing at first. Whereas things like residential schools and the occupation of unceded land have mostly been discussed and apologized for (although, not fully resolved), the notion of colonization existing on a biological level is probably not something that has crossed the average Canadian’s mind.

In this sense, biological oppression does extend…

If you were to name one of the supposed superiorities of quantum computing over classical computing, what might immediately come to mind is the somewhat ambiguous phrase that quantum computers can do things much faster than regular computers.

While this is definitely true, the same phrase could be applied to current classical computers in comparison to classical computers that existed in, say the 1960s. As technology evolves, computers have consistently gotten more powerful, and thus faster. So, simply extending this sentiment to quantum computers does not shed light on the reason for which quantum computers are “faster”.

It’s not just…

Simon’s Algorithm was the first demonstration of a quantum computer being able to solve a problem exponentially faster than a classical computer.

It aims to solve the following problem. Let’s say you have a black box function (an unknown function which you can’t “see” into) which looks like

This basically means that the function is either 1:1 — it maps one input to each output — or 2:1 — it maps two inputs to one each output. If the function is a 2:1 function the inputs that lead to the same output are related through the XOR operator on a…

One advantage a quantum computer is supposed to have over classical computers is superior searching speeds. For instance, let’s say you had a library full of books and on one page of one such book, there is a big red X. After a while, you realize that you want to find this specific page but instead of trying to look for it yourself, you decide to use a computer.

If you were using a classical computer, it would have to systematically look through each book and with in each book, look at each page until it finds the X. …

So, a couple weeks ago, I got pretty interested in this whole idea of “quantum computing” — a concept which is often described as having the potential to enable certain computing tasks that would be totally infeasible to impossible on a standard computer. For instance, factoring huge numbers for bank encryption, simulating complex molecules for drug synthesis and optimizing circuits for energy storage.

Now the way quantum computers go about solving certain problems is using algorithms — sets of instructions which tell the computer what to do and when to do it in order to arrive at a certain result…

The Deutsch-Jozsa Algorithm was first proposed by David Deutsch and Richard Jozsa in 1992. It was the first algorithm to demonstrate that a quantum computer could outperform classical computers, perhaps bringing us one step closer to quantum supremacy — the idea that a quantum computer can perform a task that no classical computer can do in any amount of time.

The problem which it aims to solve is the following. Let’s say you have a “black box function” (some kind of unknown function)— which you know must either be “constant” (returning the same value for any input) or “balanced” (returning…

Plant based meat. What may instantly come to mind at these words are things like blocks of tofu and tempeh, canned chickpeas and dried green lentils — the staples of the many vegan kitchens that just don’t seem to capture everything that meat actually is.

Because, well, plant based meat is much more expansive than the raw legumes which, as exciting as they are, are not so appealing to the modern omnivore — or, not as appealing as a nice beef patty.

Plant based meat is anything that is a substitute for the flavours and nutrition of animal meat that…

One of the claims cellular agriculture loves to make is that it produces animal products without the animal. And what most consumers will infer from this statement is that it will produce animal products exactly as we think of them today. In order for that to happen, we need one of the most important contributions to cellular agriculture — a scaffold.

Let’s take a step back. Culturing tissue in vitro generally consists of 3 main steps.

  1. Stem cells (undifferentiated cells which have the potential to differentiate into many or all of the different kinds of specialized cells) are taken from…

Avery Parkinson

Activator at The Knowledge Society | A Sandwich or Two Founder

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