Local briefs – December 8

A former Red Deer College science student has won top honours at a genetics competition in Massachusetts.

Science students honoured

A former Red Deer College science student has won top honours at a genetics competition in Massachusetts.

Oscar Cortes recently returned from the iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition where his team from the University of Alberta received the gold medal in Best Foundation Advance, one of a number of categories.

Cortes took genetics at RDC and is now a fourth-year student at the U of A. He has competed in various contests held at a number of prestigious schools, including the iGEM at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

This competition is considered to be the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition.

It attracted more than 112 teams, 42 expert judges and 1,300 to 1,700 participants from around the world.

The accomplishments of these student teams during one summer are often impressive and may lead to important advances in medicine, energy, and the environment.

Teams are given a kit of biological parts at the beginning of the summer to work with.

They use these, along with new parts of their own design, to build biological systems and operate them in living cells.

The Alberta team constructed an artificial E. coli chromosome and inserted it into living E. coli cells.

Twenty-six teams, including MIT and Harvard, competed for gold in the Best Foundation Advance category.

Cortes said he feels thankful for the win they brought home.

And he also credited his schooling at RDC.

“RDC gave me the foundation necessary to get where I am now,” Cortes said.


Investigation at well site continues

Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board says it will take a number of weeks before the investigation into a well site fire near Rimbey is completed.

Board spokesman Davis Sheremata said investigators will talk to the companies involved, review records and inspect equipment as part of their probe of the Dec. 2 well site fire about six km northwest of Rimbey.

The site is operated by Calgary’s Bonavista Energy Trust, but another oilfield service company was doing work at the location when the accident happened.

There was construction work and well testing going on at the same time when the flash fire was ignited about noon.

It is believed that natural gas vapours were touched off, causing the fire in a 250-barrel storage tank.

The fire, which sent flames shooting into the air, burned for about six hours before being extinguished.

Harold Gold, a regulatory and compliance technologist with Bonavista, said they are still working to determine exactly what happened.

A report must be submitted to the ERCB in January, but the company expects to wrap up its review of the incident before that.

Once the cause is nailed down, the company will look at the incident to see if steps can be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

No one was injured in the fire and there was no hydrogen sulphide in the natural gas. The only damage was to the storage tank.

Just Posted

Lacombe council seeking answers about policing cost overruns

Council surprised to find out about $240,000 policing budget shortfall

Red Deer fundraiser to help educate Somali orphans on May 11

The Mother’s Day event is for all ages

Lacombe to join municipal coalition spreading the word about importance of resource industry

Resources Communities of Canada Coalition to represent municipalities connected to resource industry

These blues will get you dancing: The Overdue Blues Band performs in Red Deer Saturday

Calgary’s Brother Ray Lemelin Band is also on Elks Lodge bill

Gardening: Time and effort key to buying garden plants

Greenhouses, garden centers and box stores are set to start selling bedding… Continue reading

Montreal native Nicholas Latifi off to solid start on Formula 2 race circuit

Practice makes perfect for Canadian Nicholas Latifi. The 23-year-old Montreal auto racer… Continue reading

Bruins victory over Leafs ensures an American team will hoist the Stanley Cup

TORONTO — Many NHL players were either not yet born or too… Continue reading

Swole, buzzy, among new words in Merriam-Webster dictionary

BOSTON — Get swole, prepare a bug-out bag, grab a go-cup and… Continue reading

Garner graces cover of People’s annual ‘Beautiful Issue’

NEW YORK — Jennifer Garner graces the front of this year’s “Beautiful… Continue reading

Updated: Joshua Arthur Sanford has been found, says RCMP

37-year-old Ponoka man last seen on Tuesday morning

Inspired by a galaxy far, far away, these ‘Star Wars’ mementos could be yours forever

CHICAGO —The stuff of “Star Wars” —and there is unfortunately no better… Continue reading

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

TORONTO — Medical cannabis users in Alberta can now get their therapeutic… Continue reading

Most Read