George Dryden: Possible Diefenbaker Offspring Embroiled In Fight With Saskatoon Museum

Posted: 04/ 5/2012 10:34 pm Updated: 04/ 7/2012 11:13 am

SASKATOON - The fight continues for George Dryden to see if he's the son of former prime minister John Diefenbaker.

After a first attempt to compare DNA proved unsuccessful, Dryden wants to try again.

He wants a company out of Utah to perform more DNA tests on artifacts from the Diefenbaker Centre located at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

But Dryden says the centre won't allow it because the technique involves putting a solution on the artifacts, and the centre is worried about discoloration.

He says he thinks officials at the centre are playing games with him and trying to hinder him.

University provost Brett Fairbairn says his main concern is that the procedures don't damage the artifacts, adding that talks are continuing with the company in Utah.

"Those conversations are progressing," said Fairbairn. "More conversations are booked, so there's no process that has terminated or is over. We're open to coming up with a solution that's consistent with our principles and we're still talking to the company about doing so."

Dryden isn't buying it.

"I don't think they want me to succeed," said Dryden. "I think they're scared to death that I'm Diefenbaker's son and they're going to do everything in their power to make sure I don't prove it."

Fairbairn said that's not true.

"The university's interest here is really in preserving Mr. Diefenbaker's artifacts and legacy," he said. "We run a museum. We host educational events. We set up museum displays and those are really our interests in the matter."

Dryden's search began last June when he found out his mother's husband is not his biological father.

He believes his mother, Mary Lou Dryden, who was a known confidante of Diefenbaker's, had a brief affair with Canada's 13th prime minister shortly after she married Gordon Dryden.


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Synthetic Genomics
1  of  11
Craig Venter and his colleagues at the non-profit J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) claim that they are about to create life.

In January 2008, a team of 17 researchers at the JCVI created the largest man-made DNA structure by synthesizing and assembling the 582,970 base pair genome of a bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium JCVI-1.0. This work, published in the journal Science, is the second of three key steps toward the team’s goal of creating a fully synthetic organism. In the next step, which is ongoing at the JCVI, the team will attempt to create a living bacterial cell based entirely on the synthetically made genome. The team achieved this technical feat by chemically making DNA fragments in the lab and developing new methods for the assembly and reproduction of the DNA segments.

If successful, one application of synthetic organisms could be to create new sources of energy from algae that could, according to Venter, replace the petrochemical industry in 10 years. Let’s hope he’s right.

Filed by Michael Bolen  |