What do researchers do when stuck abroad? Work on a COVID-19 vaccine

When Gurudeeban Selvaraj and Satyavani Kaliamurthi came to Canada in 2019, they had no idea they would be creating both a preventative vaccine and a curing drug to address the millennium’s biggest pandemic.

Young entrepreneurs improve medical storage for reliable transportation

As of May 27, 2020, there have been 2,925,466 infected COVID-19 patients reported worldwide, with a total of 355,727 deaths. The rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns regarding the short supply of medical equipment needed to control the rate of transmission and mortality. In most developing countries, transporting vaccines can be difficult without the proper storage technologies, since vaccines and equipment can spoil in high temperatures.

Intern works to protect IP for COVID-19 vaccine development

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the total number of COVID-19 cases reached a high of 71,486 as of May 13, 2020 — with Ontario and Quebec collectively accounting for 83% of all cases and 92% of the Canadian death toll. With a mortality rate of 3.4%, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented — and growing — demand for a vaccine.

Using an autonomous bus to reduce food insecurity

Near downtown Montréal, the Little Burgundy neighbourhood reveals many contrasts. In the south, it touches the Lachine Canal, a beautiful 14-kilometre cycling and pedestrian pathway that sees millions of visitors every year. In the north, it is bordered by the busy and grey Ville-Marie Expressway. One of the most multicultural communities in the city, Little Burgundy is home to upscale restaurants and boutiques, but also to a vulnerable population that struggles with food insecurity.

Can cannabinoids be grown in algae? Yes — according to Mitacs-supported research team

Professor Isabel Desgagné-Penix and her team at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières are the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids can be successfully grown in microalgae by a process called metabolic engineering.

The process of metabolic engineering extracts the genes responsible for cannabinoid production from cannabis plants and inserts them into algae, creating a type of cannabis surrogacy in algae.

From Tunisia to Canada: Mitacs intern works to improve voice recognition technology

Semah Aissaoui’s journey with Mitacs began in summer 2018 as an undergraduate in Tunisia when he first came to Canada as a Globalink research intern. He progressed on to receive the Mitacs Globalink Graduate Fellowship and attend graduate school at Polytechnique Montréal in Canada with the award. He now works with Fluent.ai on a Mitacs Accelerate award, researching how to remove background noise and reverberation from sound signals to enhance the accuracy of offline voice-activated devices.

Water, water everywhere!

“Traffic snarled due to a burst watermain near the Granville Aquaduct,” states News 1130.

Due to the estimated age of the infrastructure and pipe material, the City of Vancouver had slated the duct for replacement next year. A year too late for all those affected by today’s rupture.

In Canada, the replacement of pipes in poor and very poor conditions requires a total investment of about 25 billion dollars (Canadian Infrastructure Report Card 2016).

Speeding towards the 5G highway

According to the US Federal Communication Commission, 5G “is a virtual cornerstone for critical 21st century opportunities related to economic growth, education, employment, transportation, and more. These new networks and technologies will enable…innovations not yet imagined.”

With the explosion in consumer and industrial demand for faster and high-capacity mobile networks, the 5G download speed of up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology will enable Canadian businesses to deliver a new generation of products and services and compete robustly in the global marketplace.

User-friendly app for gauging autism

Autism spectrum disorder refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech, and nonverbal communication. This once misunderstood disorder affects a broad range of communications skills and behaviours.

According to Public Health Agency Canada, one in 66 Canadian children are diagnosed with autism.

Counteracting colony collapse; research team seeks to solve honeybee mystery

French Biological Engineering Master’s student, Marie Marbaix is spending her summer contributing to the global investigation into colony collapse disorder. For 12 weeks, she’s joined Professor Levon Abrahamyan at the Université de Montréal to study the co-infection of mites and viruses in honeybees through a Mitacs Globalink research internship. The researchers want to know if co-infection — being afflicted with more than one parasite or virus at once — could be contributing to honeybee deaths, and ultimately, colony collapse.

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