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.

Development of a standardized assay for after cooking darkening by which to support cultivar selection for breeding program and timing from storage for optimum processing

Two types of color changes occur in potato, raw potato darkening and after cooking darkening. We are investigating the factors behind each type of darkening in three potato cultivars (Chieftain, Goldrush, and Yukon Gold). Effect of digging method (hand/mechanical) and storage time (after 3,5, and 7 mo) were studies to find if the digging method and/or storage has any effect on darkening. In addition we are developing a digital photography system and color intensity measuring software to use in industry as inexpensive, quick, and more accurate determination of potato discoloration.

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 sea level, as well as to increase amount of suitable habitat for wildlife including waterfowl.

Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Mechanisms of Silver-oxysalt Based Wound Care Products

Infection causing bacteria often grow as a community called a biofilm, which once formed becomes protected from the outside environment. In the context of a human infection, this means a biofilm is more resistant to both the immune system and external interventions such as antibiotics. For this reason, biofilms are proposed to be the link between acute and chronic infection. Focusing on the role biofilms play in chronic wound infection, this project will evaluate the role different silver formulations play in preventing or reducing biofilm formation. Exciton Technologies Inc.

The Energetics of Forearm Crutch Gait: The impact of a dynamic shock absorber

Many people who use crutches for their short-term or long-term mobility experience problems associated with crutch gait such as overuse injuries to the arms, discomfort, and fatigue. Forearm crutches enable people to be mobile and live independent and active lives, however many individuals experience fatigue associated with the increased energy demands of this type of gait. A new type of crutch has been developed with a shock-absorbing component that aims to alleviate impact on the joints.

Retrospective molecular subtyping of pediatric medulloblastomas and poor prognosis gene markers

Medulloblastoma is the most common brain tumor in children. It is treated with a combination of surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation. Radiation to a child’s brain can have harmful side effects that may have implications in later development. We intend to use molecular gene expression to validate our findings from BC Children’s Hospital regarding low and high risk tumor subgroups. Along with this, we will analyze the expression of polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), which may be a key protein for drug therapy development to treat high risk patients.