Study of swine metabolism in a cell line model

Understanding swine metabolism is important to the pork industry, for the improvement of feed efficiency and meat quality, in addition to animal wellbeing. We have recently discovered two stress genes (Luman/CREB3 and LRF/CREBRF) that regulate animal responses to stress. Mutation of these Luman or LRF gene resulted in animals that are more tolerate to stress, in the meantime being lean with very low abdominal fat. Here we propose to further our study on how these genes regulate metabolism using a swine liver cell system.

Beyond processing waste of sea cucumber: cosmeceutical potential of North Atlantic sea cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa)

Orange-footed sea cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa) is the most common sea cucumber found in the North Atlantic Ocean. This species is mainly fished for its edible body wall and other remaining body parts are discarded as processing waste. However, all the body parts are rich in protein and production of protein hydrolysates is identified as an efficient method to upgrade the by-products. The protein hydrolysates and peptides so produced exhibit excellent functional and biological properties. These properties show great potential for utilizing as functional ingredients in the cosmetic industry.

Plant-sourced high-performance fibres for the production of novel textiles

The multi-billion dollar fashion industry has a problem: many of the high-performance fabrics used in clothing are neither sustainably produced or environmentally friendly. However, there is a considerable market gap in sustainable textiles. Canadian corporations like Proteins Easy Corp are tackling the sustainability problem head on and actively seeking environmentally friendly solutions. This proactive approach has led them to the discovery of Textile Replacement iMolecules (TRiMs), a new class of computationally designed proteins that could rejuvenate the Canadian textile market.

Developing a rapid point-of-care COVID-19 detection test with the potential to collect and transmit data

The McMaster graduate student will be involved in various aspects of the design and development of a point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic and data gathering system. The intern will be responsible for preparing and testing saliva samples for the Sars-Cov-2 virus. An innovative colorimetric paper-based test strip will be used to detect the presence or absence of the virus.

Improved data driven sgRNA design for use in bacteria

CRISPR/Cas9 is a promising tool for genome engineering in bacteria, but it's limited by inconsistent accuracy. Though some studies have been conducted to understand why this inconsistency occurs, many important biological features have not been explored. Moreover, computer based attempts to predict accuracy have suffered from these knowledge gaps. This is due mainly to the fact that the mathematical equations that these predictions are based on, do not take these biological features into account.

Sea cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa) processing discards (viscera): Potential nutritional supplements (powder and liquid extract)

The most common sea cucumber found in the North Atlantic Ocean is orange footed Cucumaria frondosa. Sea cucumber is packed with numerous high-value nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. During sea cucumber processing, visceral by-products are discarded as waste, representing around 50% of the sea cucumber biomass. These by-products are rich sources of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and biologically active compounds that may benefit overall health. Therefore, the proposed project will develop nutritional supplements (powder and liquid extract) from sea cucumber viscera.

Developing and Validating a Robust Sample Preparation, Separation and Quantitation Method for Pesticide Residues in Cannabis

Mandatory reporting limits established by Health Canada for pesticide testing in cannabis are typically lower than those published in various U.S. states. Because dried cannabis leaves and flowers generate many co-extractives that can negatively impact testing results, a simple and cost-effective sample preparation and analytical method needs to be developed to meet the demanding testing requirements in Canada.

Antioxidants render silicone elastomer surfaces antiviral

Viruses are susceptible to antioxidants. COVID-19, to which the grant is directed, is also affected by surface active species, like soap. These two vulnerabilities of the virus will be combined to create silicone coatings that will render relevant surfaces anti-viral (e.g., doorknobs, facemasks and shields). Antioxidants will be modified with entities that allow them to be dispersed in silicone elastomers, from which they can be released, or to which they are chemically tethered.

Determination of oxygen stability and shelf life of cannabidiol oil formulations.

We intend to develop standardized protocols for oxygen stability and shelf life testing of cannabidiol oil formulations. Overall, we will study the effect of time, O2 pressure, temperature, and sample quantity on the oxidation of different formulations, and how this accelerated oxidation profile can be extrapolated/modelled to predict long term shelf life under ambient conditions. As with any product, increased shelf life decreases production costs for the supplier. This work will afford graduate students the opportunity to gain experience in an expanding industry.

Testing Tile Drain Phosphorous Removal with a Novel Carboxymethylcellulose-iron Hydrogel Filtration Matrix

The objective of this research is to reduce the loss phosphate (P) used as fertilizer into waterways. Accumulation of phosphate in rivers and lakes leads to premature lake aging and high P-content allows growth and proliferation of algae, which degrade quality of drinking water, aquatic habitat, and recreational utilization of waterways.
The environmentally friendly compound carboxymethyl cellulose in combination with iron forms stable gel beads and when placed in water, bind and retain phosphate.

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