Community dynamics in restored salt marshes

Salt marshes are important coastal ecosystems as they provide many services to surrounding areas. However, due to their highly productive nature, they have a long history of being converted into farmland in the Maritimes and continue to be altered for human development. Salt marsh restoration has become popular recently to mitigate the increasing societal costs associated with rising ocean levels, as well as to increase amount of suitable habitat for various waterfowl species.

Blood and nasal biomarkers of Cat-SPIRE Efficacy

The Cat-SPIRE vaccine reduces symptoms in those who suffer from cat allergy. Two interns will work on complementary projects that will evaluate blood and nasal biomarkers of Cat-SPIRE efficacy. One trainee will examine changes to the DNA in special immune cells called dendritic cells, isolated from blood. The other trainee will examine markers of inflammation in the nose.

Développement d'un produit podiatrique à base de cellulose couplée à des peptides antimicrobiens pour le contrôle des pathogènes du pied diabétique

On estime dans le monde que plus de 285M de personnes sont atteintes de diabète. Cette maladie et ses complications représentent un énorme fardeau financier pour le système de santé (et les compagnies d’assurance). D’ici 2020, les coûts reliés au diabète et sa prise en charge atteindront 16,9 milliards $ par année au Canada. Actuellement, 2,3M de Canadiens sont atteints de cette maladie et environ 345 000 développeront un ulcère diabétique au niveau des pieds.

Modeling water temperatures in the Fraser River watershed network

Rising river temperatures, partly driven by land-use and climate warming, threaten the future of Fraser River salmon. It is vital that fisheries managers acquire tools that will aid their understanding of how rising river temperatures will impact salmon in the Fraser River. With my industry partner, I will build a novel mathematical temperature model for the Fraser River. My model will incorporate existing water temperature data, land-use, and the direction of flow to predict water temperatures.

Assessing Borrelia infection in dogs to determine the risk of Lyme disease in New Brunswick

To assess people’s risk of contracting Lyme disease in New Brunswick we will test 700 dogs for antibodies to the bacterium that causes the disease. Lyme disease is caused by infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, generally transmitted through a tick bite. Lyme disease is a debilitating disease and the risk of contracting it is increasing in in New Brunswick as well as through the rest of Canada. Because diagnosis of Lyme disease is difficult in humans, we are using dogs as a sentinel species.

Manipulation of Phytohormonal Production by Methylobacterium extorquens

TerraVerdae Bioworks is working with a type of bacteria that is able to metabolize methanol, converting it into a bioplastic. TerraVerdae is focusing its commercial operations on bioplastic production but is interested in identifying other bioproducts that can also be produced. It is known that this type of bacteria forms a symbiotic relationship with plants, where it feeds off of waste methanol produced by plant cells, converting it into metabolites that help the plant grow.

Validation of the diagnostic accuracy of a real-time fecal PCR test to identify Angiostrongylus vasorum infection

French Heartworm is a very real threat to the health of domesticated and wild dogs in Newfoundland. The purpose of this research project is to validate the sensitivity and specificity of a newly developed fecal test for this parasite. This will be done by collecting fecal and heart/lung samples from deceased dogs and wild canids (ie. coyotes, foxes). The results of running the fecal samples through this test alone are inconclusive.

Investigating the early marine dynamics of Skeena River sockeye salmon using scale pattern analysis

This project will address questions about the variable marine survival of different Skeena river sockeye stocks. Zooplankton sampling will be conducted along the smolt outmigration route to determine the timing of peak abundance of important sockeye prey items. The scale characteristics of a number of different Skeena sockeye stocks across different years will be compared to determine relationships between early marine growth and smolt size, migration timing, and zooplankton abundance.

Development of a molecular assay for determining the number and viability of vaccine organisms

This project is designed to evaluate/test the viability of commercial live coccidial poultry vaccine. The efforts will be made to enumerate individual species within a mixture of several to many vaccine species. The current research revolves around viability-qPCR that may be able to simultaneously amplify and quantify parasites in a variety of samples and concentrations. . The viability/qPCR to detect and quantify species complexes in a cost-effective manner would be useful for vaccine quality control.

Techna Guided Therapeutics Cluster

The Guided Therapeutics (GTx) Core of the Techna Institute is developing innovative imaging technology and therapeutic approaches, and translating those advances to commercial and clinical applications. Working with our industrial partners Precision X-Ray and Elekta, the Mitacs-supported interns will develop new capabilities and tools for preclinical image-guided radiation therapy devices and radiosurgical techniques. With Precision X-Ray, the interns will work on developing the ability to use optical imaging to undertake unique preclinical studies in radiation therapy.

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