Investigating the Role of Cannabis Derived Phytocannabinoid Formulations for the Development of Novel Mental Health Pharmacotherapies

Cannabinoid phytochemicals derived from the marijuana plant are increasingly being recognized for their potential in treating a wide variety of mental health conditions. For example, specific compounds found in marijuana such as THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are showing promise as pharmacological treatments for disorders including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and PTSD. However, very little is understood regarding the underlying neurobiological and molecular mechanisms by which these treatments may produce their clinical effects.

Novel applications of technology to Arctic wildlife research and management

The Arctic can be a challenging place to conduct wildlife research and thus a difficult place for scientists and wildlife managers operate. However, technological advances are constantly being made that could have applications in the north. These new technologies, improvements in existing technology, or novel applications have the potential to make Arctic research less expensive, safer for researchers, animals and the environment, and improve data quality or coverage. With any new process that involves wildlife there is a need for extensive validation.

Disturbance thresholds and factors influencing community dynamics of epiphytic cyanolichens in Nova Scotia, with an emphasis on rare and at-risk species

The coastal wet mixedwood forests of Nova Scotia are globally important for lichen biodiversity, but several lichen species are now declining or endangered. This is concerning for forest managers, because forest companies may be subject to penalties if they inadvertently destroy the habitat of an endangered species. The causes of lichen declines are not fully understood, but hypotheses include forest harvesting, acid deposition (from SO2 emissions), and grazing pressure from slugs.

The Cannabis Bioproducts Toolbox

Cannabis sativa (hemp or marijuana) produces a remarkable range of bioproducts that serve rapidly expanding markets for pharmaceuticals, nutritional products, and industrial fibre. With partners Supra THC Services (SUPRA) and Valens AgriTech Limited (VAL) (both wholly owned subsidiaries of Valens GroWorks), we will identify genes responsible for producing healthful oils and proteins in hemp seeds, new methods for identifying the chemicals in medical marijuana, and innovative, non-transgenic techniques for making improved varieties of hemp and marijuana.

Sublethal effects of neurotoxic pesticides on bats: from cells to behavior

Pesticide application in crops has been considered a potential cause of bat population declines in Europe. However, no research on this topic has been conducted in tropical agrosystems, where the use of pesticides is extensive and bat diversity is higher. Considering that insectivorous bats can eat more than 90% of their body mass every night, species that hunt preferentially in crops could be highly exposed to pesticides through their prey. This study seeks to determine the sublethal effects of pesticides on bat species foraging in or near crops.

Filling in the gaps of the IMD immune pathway of the kissing bug Rhodnius prolixus

Rhodnius prolixus is a hemathophagous insect that has served for decades as a model to study insect physiology. Rhodnius prolixus is also a major vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease that kills 45,000 people annually and affects over 8 million people worldwide. The genome of R. prolixus contains ~15,500 predicted protein-coding genes. Many pathways such as the Toll and JAK-STAT pathways were present.

Monitoring cherry postharvest rot and predictive analysis

Postharvest rot of sweet cherry destined for export markets has caused significant economic losses to Okanagan growers. The major fungal pathogens causing rot have not been identified. This project will identify the two major pathogens responsible for postharvest rot in cherry during two growth seasons and characterize them with respect to temperature effects on growth and sensitivity to fungicides. Using DNA-based methods we will track the abundance of the pathogens in the orchard during the growth cycle of cherry, following major rain events and postharvest.

Salmon Early Marine Survival Research Program

Salmon are inarguably one of the most culturally, ecologically, and economically important fish in British Columbia, however, their stocks have been declining since the 1990’s. The Cohen Commission of Enquiry expert panel emphasized that juvenile mortality during the first months at sea was the most likely cause of fishery declines. The two leading agents of mortality are hypothesised to be food availability for growth and pathogen / parasite infection. The Hakai Institute Juvenile Salmon Program is explicitly addressing these two hypotheses.

Assessing bacterial kidney disease resistance in a commercial Atlantic salmon strain

The aim of this project is to determine which families are resistant to bacterial kidney disease, a bacterial infection that affects both wild and farmed Atlantic salmon. To do this many families of Atlantic salmon from a commercial aquaculture company are to be purposefully infected with the bacteria that causes the disease to establish which families have a high rate of survival and which have a low rate of survival.

Testing plant-derived products as biopesticides for plant pathogen management

Like humans and other animals, plants also get sick, exhibit disease symptoms, and even die. Over the past 100 years, farmers have heavily relied upon chemical fertilizers and pesticides in order to increase crop productivity and quality. However, the environmental pollution caused by excessive use and misuse of agrochemicals has led to considerable changes in people’s attitudes towards the use of pesticides in agriculture.

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