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.

Improved pest management: diagnostics for management of pesticide resistance in greenhouse populations of the two-spotted spider mite, aphids, whiteflies and thrips

Mite and insect pests pose an ongoing threat to the sustainability of greenhouse vegetable production. Their control is critically reliant on pesticides. However, the intensive use of pesticides and the shrinking number of registered insecticides and acaricides increases the selection pressure against the few chemicals available and accelerates the evolution of resistance. This is critical for the two-spotted spider mite, aphid, whitefly and thrips populations as they are becoming increasingly difficult to control.

An emerging aquatic invasive species in Saskatchewan: distribution and ecology of the Prussian carp

Invasive aquatic species are one of the largest threats to aquatic ecosystems and cost Canadians around $343 million annually. Aquatic invasive species negatively impacts recreational use of freshwater and can decrease water quality, reduce native populations, and can cause fisheries to collapse. Prussian carp are an invasive species native to Asia that have recently been introduced to Alberta and has now expanded into Saskatchewan. To reduce the negative impact on Canadians, it is crucial to develop an effective management strategy, but to do that certain information is required.

Enabling next generation cardiac therapeutics with genetic engineering and novel in vivo models for cardiomyocyte transplantation

The development of cellular therapeutics is acutely dependent on the ability to evaluate the functional characteristics of the cells in predictive animal models. This forms the basis of key pre-clinical data packages that are key for regulatory submissions preceding human clinical trials. The development of appropriate model systems, the execution of the surgical techniques to deliver cells to the target tissue, and the techniques to functionally analyze these cells in situ are technically challenging.

Examination of beneficial effects of copper fabric on cardiometabolic status, and mechanistic role of gut microbiome

Copper has long been proposed to have important biological properties. Designed to deliver the health benefits of copper, CuTEC yarn is a USPTO|EPO patent pending, bio-engineered copper-based yarn that can be produced as products such as clothing and mattress ticking. Although many believe in the positive properties of copper for well-being, many remain retiscent to believe strong anecdotal evidence with regards to benefits of exposing skin to a pure metal or metal alloy.

Quantifying fish-turbine interactions using VEMCO's new high residency acoustic electronic tagging technology-Phase 2

It remains unclear if fishes that occupy Canada's leading tidal energy test site in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, will be negatively affected by turbine installations. The objective of this project is to determine fishes' interactions with operating turbines. Of approximately 70 species of fishes that interact with Minas Passage only three have abundance estimates (Gaspereau River Alewife; Shubenacadie River Striped Bass; Saint John River Atlantic Sturgeon) that are necessary to predict effects at the population level.

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