York University program has students submit spit samples for DNA tests

Fifty first-year York University students gathered in a lab to have their DNA analyzed — and no, it had nothing to do with criminal activities. The biology students were taking part in a “learning community” run by York University biology Professor Logan Donaldson. What the results reveal about your genes can be exciting (you’re distantly related to Marie Antoinette), unnerving (you have a high risk factor for diabetes) or mundane (you like cilantro and your earwax is wet). This is the first time Donaldson has been able to offer the gene mapping opportunity to his students…courtesy of the university’s Academic Innovation Fund, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 8. Read full story.

Fast-Tracked drugs have more safety problems, study finds
Drugs rushed through Health Canada’s approval process are significantly more likely to have serious safety problems once on the market than those that undergo a standard review, a new study has found.  “The length of time matters because it appears they missed things,” said York University Professor Joel Lexchin, who authored the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reported the Hamilton Spectator and others Oct. 8. Read full story.

Enter stage right, armed with an MBA
Certainly, the MBA programme appears to attract a wide variety of arts professionals. At Canada’s Schulich School of Business, which has an MBA in arts and media administration, alumni include Tricia Baldwin, managing director of Canada’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, Luc Déry, a film producer, and Jason Van Eyk, executive director of ArtsSmarts, which works with schools to apply art forms to education, reported the Financial Times Oct. 8 in an article about MBAs for art professionals. Read full story.

Will province drag its feet on regional transit taxes?
You can’t persuade Roger Keil that Toronto-area residents aren’t willing to pay for better transportation. The York University professor recently began driving the Highway 407 toll road to take his daughter to gymnastics lessons in Brampton. “That highway’s always full. I don’t understand where the idea comes from that Torontonians are not willing to pay fees for these superstructures,” said the director of York’s City Institute in the Toronto Star Oct. 5. Read full story.

Policing Toronto’s panhandlers
The next time you walk downtown and pass a street person with their hand out, it’s reasonable to ask: Where did all the panhandlers go? The same applies when you pull up at a set of traffic lights only to be met by a lone squeegee-wielding homeless person: There just aren’t as many of them around as their used to be. Professor Stephen Gaetz, of York University, thinks he knows where they’ve all gone. It’s not to a retirement villa in the Bahamas, either. They’ve been defeated by the combination of more aggressive policing and the introduction of the Safe Streets Act (SSA). Gaetz would like to see the winding back of both, reported the Toronto Sun Oct. 7. Read full story.

Wringing merit aid out of business schools
After crunching the numbers, Mark Berkley enrolled in York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto this fall with about C$40,000 in merit-based aid. He took that offer over a $60,000 two-year scholarship from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, in part because of the relative cost, reported The Wall Street Journal Oct. 3 in an article about whether or not students should try and get more merit aid than offered. Read full story.

Which MBA? Briefing: Not wanted here
Not so long ago business students flocked to Europe. Compared with their American counterparts, European schools were cheaper and their student bodies more diverse, both attractive features—and the salaries of European MBA graduates were often higher, too. Some of these attractions remain undimmed. But they are no longer enough to bring in the punters. Data from The Economist’s latest ranking of full-time MBA programmes suggest the appeal of an Old World business education has gone into a rapid decline, reported The Economist Oct. 4. Charmaine Courtis, executive director of student services at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto, says that around 80 per cent of foreign MBAs at the school now choose to stay and work in Canada immediately after graduation. Read full story.

Toronto’s chief planner talks to York U students
The human element is often forgotten in city-building, Toronto’s new chief planner told students at her alma mater Friday. “As a result we get detail that is in fact not designed for people,” Jennifer Keesmaat said at a seminar organized by the City Institute and Faculty of Environment Studies at York University, she was reported as saying in the Toronto Sun Oct. 5. “We get detail that is designed for people moving at 60 km/h.” Read full story.

Who says you can’t be a good mom and a CEO?
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer joined the ranks of celebrity mothers this week and the arrival of her baby launched a new episode in the never-ending drama on whether women can have it all. If Ms. Mayer were to take a lengthy maternity leave, it “would lead others in the business community to yet again question whether women are suited to the CEO job and whether they can actually handle both the executive job and parenting,” explained Souha Ezzedeen, professor at the School of Human Resource Management at York University. “Many still doubt that, and that’s why the glass ceiling persists” Ezzedeen said in the Globe and Mail Oct. 5. Read full story.

Space scientist’s love of the sky born on Sask. prairies
York space science Professor Gordon Shepherd is featured in the Star Phoenix reported Oct. 9, talking about his work and research. Read full story.

Companies charged in fatal drill rig collapse at TTC subway extension project at York
The Labour Ministry has laid charges against two companies in a drill accident on a TTC extension project at York University that killed a young worker a year ago. The ministry confirmed Friday it laid four charges Thursday under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, against project constructor OHL-FCC GP Canada Inc. (1842887 Ontario Ltd.), reported the Toronto Star and others Oct. 5. Read full story.

York University law students to compete in Canada-wide social media contest
West Coast Environmental Law today announced the teams selected to participate in its “World’s 2nd Twitter Moot” – a mock court case to be argued competitively over Twitter Nov. 20. Two law students from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University – Ryan Heighton and Jon Ungaro – are among the five teams selected, reported Melodika.net Oct. 8. Read full story.