DNA Barcoding, Profs Make Headlines

December 04, 2012 - In the News

The Guelph-honed technology DNA barcoding is making national and international headlines this week. Researchers from U of G’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO) were involved in two media projects reported on by CTV in Vancouver and in the Boston Globe newspaper.

BIO researchers helped identify that fins of threatened and endangered shark species are being sold in Vancouver. Stories on the research aired Dec. 4 and 5.

In Boston, DNA barcoding was used to show that seafood mislabeling is still prevalent in city restaurants.

DNA barcoding is a molecular technique developed by U of G integrative biology professor Paul Hebert. It allows scientists to match up barcodes from specimens of unknown identity to those derived from expert-identified reference specimens.

BIO is a hub for barcoding research worldwide and leads the International Barcode of Life project to develop a DNA barcode reference library. Another project based at the institute is Biomonitoring 2.0, which uses barcoding and DNA sequencing for large-scale environmental assessment.

Psychology professor Mark Fenske was quoted in a Dec. 1 New York Times article on boredom.

In the article, Fenske discusses his latest research on boredom and the human brain. He explains that when you’re trying to focus on a difficult or engaging task, disruption of attention can lead to boredom.

The Guelph neuroscientist is among a group of Canadian researchers who developed a new, precise definition of boredom based on the mental processes that underlie the condition. The research was published in the fall in Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Although many people may see boredom as trivial and temporary, it actually is linked to a range of psychological, social and health problems, says Fenske.

Fenske is the co-author of The Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success and writes for the Globe and Mail on brain-related topics.

Business professor Jamie Gruman is quoted in a Toronto Star article today on how entrepreneurs can successfully transition into leaders. Gruman explains that the qualities of a good entrepreneur are not exactly the same qualities that make someone a good manager, although there is some overlap.

Gruman researches and teaches organizational behaviour. His current research focuses on well-being in the workplace, including the emerging field of positive organizational behaviour, which explores the effect of hope, optimism, confidence, and resilience among employees. Gruman is a founding member and serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association.

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