Do viral infections cause queen failure?

Honey bee queens are the only reproductive female in a beehive – if a queen dies or is unable to lay eggs then the whole colony will slowly die. A queen’s lifetime reproductive capacity, or fecundity, is imperative for maintaining a strong, healthy colony, but declining queen quality is a growing concern among beekeepers. Beekeepers typically replace queens every one to two years but often do so without knowing whether it is needed or not. There are many possible causes of poor fecundity in queens, including infectious diseases.

Development of new RNA-guided dual-cleaving nucleases

Gene editing with RNA-guided nucleases based on the CRISPR bacterial defence system (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats) has revolutionized both basic science and therapeutic applications. However, CRISPR associated (Cas) nucleases are not optimized for all types of gene-editing applications. In particular, the double-strand breaks made in DNA by the Cas proteins are imperfectly repaired by cellular DNA repair pathways that lead to a spectrum of gene-editing outcomes.

Characterization of Cura Tx’s multi-functional human immunotherapy CT101 against cancer

Cura Therapeutics is developing innovative immunotherapies to cure solid malignancies and infectious diseases. Cura Therapeutics immunotherapy platform simultaneously activates the immune response against cancer while disrupting the tumor blood supply. These immunotherapies also induce an immunological memory that prevent cancer recurrence. Currently, there are no treatments on the market or in clinical trials that combine these properties in one single therapy.

Biosensor gene circuit for 3D bioprinted devices

Cell-based therapies have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of chronic diseases such as endocrine and autoimmune disorders, neurological degeneration, and cancer. These treatments utilize cells as localized biofactories to secrete therapeutic molecules. However, one major roadblock in efficiently utilizing cell-based therapies is the cells survival and wellbeing in bioprinted devices. This is due to the vastly different environment in bioprinted devices, resulting in limited access to oxygen and nutrients.

Expanding the analytical capacity of Nanopore sequencing for infectious disease surveillance and diagnostics in a One Health framework

The alarming increase in the scale at which infectious diseases spread and devastate global socioeconomics necessitates timely characterization of the disease-causing agent to devise effective intervention strategies to stop the spread of disease at the source of introduction. It is known that domestic and wild animals play significant roles in the transmission of pathogens to humans via direct contact or the ingestion of contaminated foods. Hence, the proposed project will partner with an animal health diagnostic lab, Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc.

Expression of variant SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins for antiviral development

The virus spike receptor has been used to successful generate vaccine candidates for SARS-CoV-2 infections. Furthermore, disruption of the virus interacting with host cells represents a viable options for antiviral development. We will express both the viral spike protein and host ACE2 receptor for development of vaccine and antivirals.

Development and optimization of novel KRAS degraders mediated by PROTACs

Traditional strategies of drug development is to develop small molecules that bind and block the activity of the protein based enzymes in a cell, where the activity of the enzyme is linked to the disease, such as cancer. Recently a new paradigm has been emerging where it is being appreciated that other proteins, that are not enzymes can also be targeted by next generation drugs. This ability to target proteins which do not have enzymatic activity may potentially reshape much of the pharmaceutical industry.

Deciphering the role of oncogenic kinase Lemur tyrosine kinase 3 (LMTK3) in breast cancer stem cell mediated multidrug resistance

Breast tumor harbours breast cancer stem cells (bCSCs), responsible for drug resistance or reduced effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs. The bCSCs can escape cell death induced by different treatment modalities, hence can survive and make a replica of the original tumor, contributes to its metastatic spread to distant organs, ultimately causing death. Therefore, targeting the bCSCs is the way forward. LMTK3 protein frequently over-produced in breast cancer cells contributes to drug resistance, and associated with poor survival of BC patients.

Peptide-based materials for rapid sutureless and scarless surgical repair

Every year in the United States alone, over 30 million surgical incisions are performed, and another 7 million wounds are causes by trauma. Most of those wounds will heal on their own, but nonetheless always lead to scarring no matter what kind of material is used to close the wound. There are a range of materials and techniques used to close wounds. All agree, however, that an ideal approach to wound closure should be easy to use, fast and painless, cost-effective and not create permanent scarring. Many advancements have significantly improved wound healing.

Analysis of Canadian Western Red Spring Wheat Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy

The proposed research will develop a reliable analytical method for the quantitative analysis of grain grading factors for Canadian Western Red Spring wheat using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Most commercially available near infrared spectrometers used in agricultural applications require significant expertise, a large footprint, a controlled environment, and are prohibitively expensive. The NIRS technology is effective for understanding grading factors, like protein content, and has demonstrated potential for other factors.

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