Using bioelectrochemical approaches to study microbes associated with oil and gas operations - Year two

Microbial activities in oil and gas operations can be beneficial or detrimental which economically impact the energy industry. Microorganisms can be responsible for souring and microbiologically influenced corrosion which damage oil and gas infrastructure, but they can also play a beneficial role in enhancing energy production, recovering chemicals from waste streams, bioremediation, and biofuel production. The threat of global warming and diminishing fossil fuel resources is creating an ever-increasing drive to implement new technologies for renewable fuel production.

Developing Cannabis resources for the 21st century

Over the past few years Cannabis has gone through a revolution with respect to its applications to both the medical and recreational markets. For legal reasons, much Cannabis genetics has been hap hazard but now with legalization scientific approaches can be used to develop useful Cannabis strains for the industry. In this proposal, we will develop two transformative programs to revolutionize Cannabis genetics. The first involves the development of a cheap fast method to identify Cannabis strains.

Molecular effects of novel high-CBD Cannabis cultivars: from mechanisms to novel applications and therapeutics

With the legalization of cannabis, a serious issue facing Canadians is: how will consumers know their products are safe and created with their health in mind? Many Cannabis products claim diverse health benefits, ranging from treating pain to reducing inflammation and affecting tumor growth. While this is incredibly exciting, have all of these products been researched to ensure their claims are rooted in scientific proof?

Biocontrol potential of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) against selected key insect pests of canola, cereal and high value crops in Alberta.

Crop losses and the economic impact caused by canola insect pests is substantial, depending on outbreak conditions. With the predicted de-registration of two key insecticides, canola producers are potential subject to greater economic losses. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs), also known as predatory nematodes, are commercially available biocontrol agents for the management of insect pests. Although below-ground insect stages are more susceptible to EPNs, recent advancement in application technology has improved their biocontrol efficiency against the foliar insect pests.

Integrating biodiversity functional guild responses to land use and climate change in natural heritage system update - Year two

Urbanization continues to drive the land conversion from natural areas to urban uses dominated by impermeable surfaces. This conversion has direct and indirect impacts on ecosystem services that are critical for a sustainable and resilient ecosystem as well as human wellbeing. Habitat removal and fragmentation accelerate biodiversity loss in urban landscapes. Additionally, climate change exacerbates these impacts even further. Hence, green infrastructure is also becoming more common in urban landscapes to offset negative urbanization impacts.

Using beneficial microbes to mitigate the effects of climate change on plant nutrition, resistance to insects, and drought

Climate change has major present-day and anticipated consequences for Canadian and global food security. Increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can lead to decreased plant nutritional quality: more fixed carbon and sugar means that plants have less protein and micronutrients per gram. Additionally, increased CO2 levels can exacerbate insect pests on crops because elevated CO2 interferes with plant signalling and suppresses plants' ability to respond to stressors.

Investigating the scope of dsRNAi in human cells

Long dsRNA is produced by viruses during their replicative cycle. In plants and invertebrates, long dsRNAs block crucial cellular processes through RNA interference (RNAi). In vertebrates, long dsRNA is a potent inducer of critical signaling proteins that regulate antiviral immune responses. Although the RNAi system is conserved in vertebrates, there is little evidence to suggest that it plays a major role in antiviral defense. Moreover, it remains unclear whether long dsRNA can function as a template for RNAi (dsRNAi) in vertebrates.

Development of a knowledgebase to enable streamlined analysis and interpretation of NGS data from pediatric leukemia cohorts

Twenty years ago, the first human genome was sequenced at a cost of 3 billion dollars. Today, this can be done in a day at a cost of approximately $1000. Despite this drastic reduction, the promise of personalized medicine, to customize therapy for each patient, has not yet been realized through next generation sequencing (NGS). While sequencing is becoming a commodity, the data analysis remains a significant challenge. Streamline Genomics addresses these challenges by providing clinicians with a powerful and user-friendly analysis platform.

Optimization and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) translation of GLIDE (Guided Lymphocyte Immunopeptide Derived Expansion) manufacturing process

Leukemia, lymphoma and other forms of blood cancers are still largely diagnosed every year in Canada. These diseases constitute the second leading cause of cancer related death in young adults and the sixth in adult. The five-year survival rates still range between 42% and 85%. Currently, the main treatment is a stem cell transplantation which unfortunately do not prevent lethal relapse. The goal of this study is to develop and improve a novel cellular therapy aiming to limit and prevent relapse of hematological malignancies.

Revegetation of disturbed areas in Northern Manitoba

Revegetation of northern Manitoba ecosystems, disturbed by hydroelectric development, is critical to meet the ecological and cultural needs of the First Nation communities located in these areas. To establish a viable self-sustaining ecosystem, it is important to understand the challenges associated with reclamation in these disturbed areas. The main goal of our proposed research is to develop revegetation strategies using native plant species (selected in consultation with the indigenous communities) and addition of organic matter/ fertilizer following soil decompaction.