Implementation of an adventitious agent assay by HTS

Manufacturing of consistently high quality products is the commitment of the pharmaceutical industry. To achieve this, new products must be thoroughly tested and the results must meet government-approved product specifications. Improving existing and adopting improved analytical technologies for product testing ensure the production of safe and effective products. This is particularly critical for the manufacturing of vaccines and biologics which, relative to small molecular drugs, are more susceptible to contamination by viral or microbial adventitious agents.

Validation of the educational impact of a holographic lecture

UBC and Microsoft intend to collaborate on an applied research project where 3D models of the brain will be used to create an interactive Holographic lecture using Microsoft’s new augmented reality device, the HoloLens. The will form the basis for a lesson or “HoloLecture,” and will feature new interactions to take advantage of the HoloLens’s technology. The ability to manipulate the 3D objects and dynamically adapt them to a live lecture format will form the basis of a HoloLecture prototype that can be applied across disciplines.

Characterization of the diversity, genetics and genomics of common scab causing Streptomyces spp. in eastern Canada

Common scab is a world-wide potato disease that is responsible for important economic losses. The control of the disease is difficult and soil fumigation is often the only approach available. In Atlantic Canada, crop losses associated with common scab are economically important and the disease has been progressing in severity. Therefore, Dr. Filion, in association with Cavendish Farms, is working on the characterization of the diversity, genetics and genomics of Streptomyces spp. causing common scab of potato.

Moving the weakest links upstream: assessing passage of rainbow smelt and alewife at two Prince Edward Island fishways

Dams can be problematic for fishes, particularly those that migrate. In order to help fish move around dams, fisheries managers may construct fishways (aka “fish ladders”). However, these structures do not always function properly, often because they were built only to pass trout and salmon and are thus inappropriate for other species. This project aims to assess the ability of migratory rainbow smelt to use a newly constructed, “fish friendly” fishway at MacLean’s Pond on the Vernon River, PEI.

Synthesis of Carbohydrate Derivatives for the Improvement of Red Blood Cell Storage

Most red blood cells (RBCs) are stored from 1-6 °C in an additive solution of saline, adenine, glucose, and mannitol for up to 42 days. Cryopreservation of RBCs at -80 ºC in 40% glycerol can prolong their shelf life to at least ten years; however, the process to remove glycerol prior to transfusion is time-consuming and precludes the use of cryopreserved RBCs in emergency situations. The proposed research aims to develop non-toxic carbohydrate derivatives to improve the quality of hypothermically-stored RBCs and facilitate the use of cryopreserved RBCs.

Fine-scale habitat use by juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Salish Sea

Juvenile Pacific Salmon survival in the Salish Sea has declined dramatically since the 1980s. Our work is part of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project (SSMSP), an initiative which seeks to understand this decline. We have been developing an economical, small vessel-based method to study how juvenile Chinook Salmon use their habitat in more detail than was previously possible. We are also developing methods to identify high quality juvenile salmon habitat using freely available satellite images.

Development and characterization of elite Echinacea germplasm for natural health products and dietary supplements

Echinacea is a popular medicinal herb with a global market of ?$1 billion. While numerous Echinacea products are already available, variable plant chemistry and genetics leads to inconsistent product quality. In an effort to develop “chemically customized” varieties for herbal products and supplements, Amway Canada has partnered with researchers at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. Having already analyzed >100 varieties of Echinacea, we are breeding selected individuals with desired properties to establish new distinct and stable lines.

Community dynamics in restored salt marshes

Salt marshes are important coastal ecosystems because they provide many services to surrounding areas. Due to the high fertility of salt marsh soil, they have a long history of being converted to farmland in Maritime Canada. In recent years, there has been growing interest in restoring salt marshes to protect against coastal erosion, mitigate sea level rise, and provide increased habitat for birds, fish, etc.

Understanding the role of trees and topography in determining power outage frequency across London, ON

While trees are regularly maintained to prevent damage from branches to power lines, power outages caused by vegetation still occur, and these outages are more common in some areas of London than in others. This work will correlate tree species-specific growth rates, tree species distribution maps, and topographical maps with the frequency of vegetation-related power outages across London, ON to determine potential drivers of tree growth (such as species identity, tree size, and indices of water availability) that should be accounted for in future vegetation maintenance plans.

Raman micro-spectroscopy for biopsy for prostate cancer prognosis -Year two

Prostate biopsies can be difficult to interpret using standard pathology techniques. Because cancer can be fatal, the development of technologies providing complementary information could improve current pathology practice resulting in improved patient outcome. Raman micro-spectroscopy is a molecular imaging technique using backscattered light following tissue laser excitation to indicate whether or not prostate samples contain cancer cells. However, this technique is very sensitive to the molecules in chemicals used to process tissue (e.g. paraffin), which greatly limits its efficacy.

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