Top geneticists gather to discuss the future

North America's leading genetics researchers are converging at UBC this week to explore the major research themes that they are working on in the new millennium.

The joint meeting of the Genetics Society of Canada and the Genetics Society of America is taking place June 14-17.

"This conference is unique in that it is designed as a opportunity for geneticists to pause and reflect on where the science of genetics is heading in the new century," says Botany Prof. Tony Griffiths, the event's chair.

New ideas in key areas such as genomics and bioinformatics will be presented.

Headline speakers include UBC medical geneticist Dr. Patricia Baird, Nobel laureate and Prof. Emeritus Michael Smith and internationally-recognized bacterial expert Prof. Emeritus Julian Davies.

Other key speakers include leading geneticists such as Stanford University's David Botstein, an influential yeast geneticist; U.S.-based National Cancer Institute's Stephen O'Brien, an expert on animal genome; and the U.S.-based Institute for Genome Research's Claire Fraser, a comparative genomics expert.

New home for .ca

UBC, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) and the Government of Canada have agreed on the terms under which CIRA will assume responsibility for the top-level .ca registry.

CIRA will compensate UBC $4.35 million for its role in developing the .ca domain space over the past 12 years.

Since 1988, John Demco, a staff member in the Dept. of Computer Science, has voluntarily administered the .ca registry, which has grown to more than 80,000 .ca domain names.

"UBC has long recognized the need to expand the service to the public so when CIRA and the federal government approached the university it was seen as a tremendous opportunity to expand the registry," says Indira Samarasekera, UBC's vice-president, Research.

The transfer to CIRA will occur in stages over the next several months.

CIRA will assume responsibility for certifying registrars. It will also develop new rules and processes to make Internet domain name registration swifter for those wishing to establish a presence on the Web.

The university will continue to operate as a CIRA-certified registrar and register .ca domain names on behalf of applicants.

For more information, visit www.cira.ca.