Thursday, January 17, 2013

RCI Cybermagazine

Interviews and reports | Read the news | Weather | News | Multimedia
Episode date 16 January 2013
Interviews and reports
Space isotopes: the key to life, and the fight against cancer
(St Mary's University)
Scientist Rituparna Kanungo is studying some of the smallest things in the universe.  Her research into experimental subatomic physics involves the study of nuclear isotopes, and may lead to new products to fight cancer.

Unlike uranium, the only earthly isotope that is unstable and decays slowly, all other earthly isotopes are stable and remain unchanged. However, these earthly elements were formed originally from unstable "rare" isotopes created by supernovas. Such rare isotopes which can last only days, minutes, or milliseconds, somehow changed and became the calcium, oxygen and other elements of life that we know on this planet. 

Now Dr Kanungo and her team have been given a $1.6 million grant from the federal government to help in the development of a new research lab in the west coast city of Vancouver at a research facility known as Triumf.  There they will create and study such rare isotopes which give off alpha and beta particles as they decay.  It’s thought that understanding and studying these particles will help to develop new isotopes for use in such medical procedures as fighting cancer.
Quebec one step closer to allowing doctor-assisted suicide
CBC News report
The government of Quebec could soon bypass the Canadian Criminal Code and allow doctors to help some terminally ill patients end their lives.

On Tuesday, a provincial panel of legal experts concluded that when terminally ill patients receiving palliative care express the desire to die, physicians could help them carry out their wish at a time of their own choosing.

“We want to affirm a person’s right to die,” says lawyer Jean-Paul Ménard, who led the legal panel. He adds that it’s not a question of decriminalizing assisted suicide.” The Criminal Code will continue to be applied in all other situations.”

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Idle No More ‘101’
Robin Rowland/Canadian Press
Over the last two months there have been road blockades, a hunger strike and many, many protests. In that period, the Canadian aboriginal grassroots movement called Idle No More has gained media and social media attention, and public support. [...]
Cirque du soleil layoff
(AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Chris Pietsch)
The world-famous Cirque du soleil will let go 400 people, most of whom work in Montreal. The Cirque blames rising production costs and expenses. There are 5,000 employees around the world who produce 19 shows in different locations. (ld)
Rare bird from southern Asia ‘visiting’ New Westminster, B.C.
Justyn Stahl/Associated Press
Bird enthusiasts in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia are not sure how a red-flanked bluetail from southern Asia turned up so far away from home. [...]
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