We open Volume 3 of IMMpress with an issue on Biotechnology, our first as new co-editors. Biotechnology is defined as “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.” At its core, this involves putting biology to work against modern problems, implying a delicate balance of old and new that we hope is highlighted in our feature articles: Using archaic biological systems to tailor genome editing (CRISPRs, pg. 12) and looking to an ancient branch of the evolutionary tree to expand upon established research tools (alternative VLR antibodies, pg. 16). This theme is also mirrored in the need to properly evolve old systems of scientific discourse by improving the accessibility of research through online forums (pg. 26).
Likewise, the training of future scientists needs to reflect the reality of non-tenure-track careers for PhD graduates (pg. 21). However, as we move forward in science at ever-increasing speeds, we need to remember the foundations in basic research that make this progress possible. If we erode this foundation by placing too much emphasis on the funding and publishing of application-based or clinical science, we will lose the material on which to base future advances. There is much improvement to be made in Canadian Biotechnology industries and in scientific funding as a whole (pg. 8); we hope that the balance of “old” and “new” will be better maintained as Canada faces its next federal election this fall.
Finally, we could not end our first letter without extending a heartfelt thank you to Yuriy Baglaenko and Charles Tran for founding the magazine and establishing such a vision for it, as well as to the Department and our sponsors for making a third year of IMMpress possible. We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of editors and writers who made our transition a seamless one, and we look forward to expanding our ranks in the future.