Like a Marvel character’s super power, summer intern Yutian Zhang has been learning how to see through tissue.
However, unlike a comic-book hero, Yutian is working with a research team to develop a laser-based optical system and a special camera to see through tissue. The desired result would be improved medical technology for tissue imaging.
Depression is one of the most prevailing health conditions of the 21st century, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. The illness does not discriminate. It is a leading cause of workplace disability and represents a large financial burden for many families. Consequently, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, under the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases’ mental illness funding initiative have co-funded a five-year implementation project to optimize clinical care.
“If this works, the potential impact will be huge because there are no long-term rehabilitation harnesses available on the market today,” said Dr. Julia Montgomery (Med Vet, PhD) at USask’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine, who leads the research.
The horse industry contributes more than $19 billion annually to the Canadian economy, according to a 2010 study by Equestrian Canada, and is responsible for more than 80,000 full-time jobs on farms and in horse racing and competitions.
Led by Professor Filiz Koksel, the team, including Maria Arzamendi, a Mitacs Globalink intern from Mexico, is developing strategies to reduce food waste by using bakery by-products to create high-protein, fiber-rich snacks.
The researchers are combining leftover bread crumbs from a bakery with pulse flour, which is flour from legume crops, and using a novel technique to manipulate the food structure during processing. The local ingredients are resource efficient, environmentally friendly, and nutritional.
This summer, Mitacs Globalink intern Anton Gladyr, an undergraduate student from Ukraine, is working under the guidance of Professor John Kildea to expand the app’s functionality. Anton is developing a user-friendly interface that will collect data from patients as they undergo treatment.
In the last couple of years, Canada’s Atlantic salmon farms have faced a surge of parasitic sea lice, making them susceptible to infections or killing entire stocks. Globally, the spread of sea lice now costs up to $1 billion dollars in lost revenues annually.
“Consumers and companies alike are looking for safe and natural ways to keep their products fresher for longer,” says Natasha, CEO of Chinova Bioworks. “But labels full of unpronounceable, artificial ingredients can turn consumers off. It was important to me to create an alternative to the chemical preservatives normally found in food and beverage products.”
While conceptualizing the product, Natasha was searching for someone to take it to the next level — and she knew that Mitacs was available to help fledgling companies like hers.
In collaboration with University of Waterloo-Mitacs researcher, Yael Zilberman-Simakov, LeNano's portable device tests blood for a specific biomarker, a type of protein, elevated by the onset of heart failure. “If a patient has a higher-than-usual concentration of the biomarker, they are at an increased risk of having heart failure,” says Yael. “Similar to how glucose levels should be monitored among diabetic patients, this type of protein needs to be checked every day.Compared to a lab test, personal test devices like LeNano's are faster, simpler, and more convenient.
Barley production, however, has declined over the past 15 years, as Canadian farmers lose ground to international competitors. International beer producers have a thirst for new varieties but Canada’s adoption process is slower than competitor countries. Australia and Germany bring new varietals of barley to market in five to seven years. In Canada, the same two strains have dominated the market for the past 20 years.
The company is a spin-off from McMaster University and was created “organically,” says InnovoGENE CEO Kha Tram. It all started when Kha was completing his PhD at McMaster and was looking to develop technology that could quickly identify E. coli in food. He realized the same technology could be used to rapidly test bacteria in water — and InnovoGENE was born.