Development of miniature fluorescence microscope with optogenetically synchronized patterned illumination - Year two

We propose development of miniature fluorescent microscope with flexible spatiotemporal photostimulation patterns of ensembles of neurons in freely behaving animals.For precision and targeted photostimulation of light-activated proteins (opsins), the light beam from high power incoherent light source will be shaped by user-controlled digital micromirror device (DMD). The light patterns formed by DMD will be sent via fiber bundle to miniature imaging system that can be implanted on the head of the animal.

Identification of heterotic gene pools to accelerate hybrid breeding in Brassica napus (canola)

Heterosis is a natural phenomenon where offspring (hybrids) outperform their parents in many agronomic traits, although exploited in breeding the mechanisms controlling heterosis remain elusive. Genetic distance between parents has been positively correlated with heterosis, yet does not adequately explain the phenomenon. Dividing lines from any crop into heterotic groups that provide optimal combining ability upon crossing, is one of the most important goals of any hybrid breeding program. The main objective of this proposal is to define the heterotic pools of Brassica napus (canola).

Application of bacteriophage encapsulation in biodegradable polymers for the prevention of prosthetic joint infections

In 2014-2015, there were over 100,000 hip and knee replacement operations in Canada. Among these, more than 8,500 of these procedures had to be repeated. The main cause of failure was due to bacterial infections at the surface of the implants. Furthermore, this problem is likely to get worse over time due to antibiotic resistance phenomena in bacteria. We propose the development of a surface modification of the implants using bacteriophages, a class of viruses that only targets bacteria.

Fruit Extract to Dyes - Elucidating the Mechanism of Dye Formation using Genipin to Unlock New Colours

Dyes which are either sourced directly or derived from naturally-occurring products are of growing interest in the cosmetics industry. Sourcing chemical dyes or their close precursors from natural products can significantly reduce the environmental impact of manufacture by reducing the number of derivatization and purification steps. The industrial partner, Inkbox Ink, currently uses genipin, a dye precursor derived primarily from extracts of the gardenia fruit, in their semi-permanent tattoo technologies.

Using bioelectrochemical approaches to study microbes associated with oil and gas operations

Microbial activities in oil and gas operations can be beneficial or detrimental which economically impact the energy industry. Microorganisms can be responsible for souring and microbiologically influenced corrosion which damage oil and gas infrastructure, but they can also play a beneficial role in enhancing energy production, recovering chemicals from waste streams, bioremediation, and biofuel production. The threat of global warming and diminishing fossil fuel resources is creating an ever-increasing drive to implement new technologies for renewable fuel production.

Activity-based screening of DNA-Encoded libraries

Cell surface receptors are targets of ~50% of pharmaceutical and biological drugs. Still many of such receptors have no known therapeutic inhibitors because 1) the receptors are only active in cells 2) isolation and purification of the receptor is not viable and 3) determining activity of a potential therapeutic is complicated by binding that can lead to a productive (antagonism/agonism) or an unproductive response.

High Fidelity Mixed Reality Platform for Surgical Training and Pre-Operative Rehearsal

We intend to create a novel mixed physical and virtual environment for use in resident education and surgical pre-planning. Our goal is to improve patient safety and amplify training and planning regimes with technology adjunctive to classic apprenticeship or cadaver-based education. To achieve this, we propose the creation of a mixed simulation paradigm expanding on our previous work with printed and virtual simulation where the effective elements of both simulations are combined.

Use of Guide and Outfitter Knowledge and Sampling to Advance Wildlife Health Surveillance Systems

This research intends to work towards establishing essential baselines of health status and trends in the Northern Mountain Population (NMP) of woodland caribou in the Skeena region of northwestern British Columbia. We will use scientific data from a guide and outfitter-led sampling program in combination with local ecological knowledge from practicing guides and outfitters in these regions towards a comprehensive understanding of the health and status of these culturally, ecologically, and economically valuable animals.

Action Research on Youth Physical Literacy in Recreation

Physical literacy means developing the foundational skills and the confidence required to participate in regular physical activity, play a sport or get to the podium. Research shows that physical activity levels start to decline as children enter into adolescence. Recreation organizations, such as YMCA Calgary are interested in finding out how their programs help support youth to stay active.

Development of a novel system to isolate vocal sources in crowded environments for individuals suffering from hearing deficits

Hearing aids are a common form of treatment for individuals suffering from a hearing impairment [1]. These devices work by collecting sound from the surrounding environment and amplifying that sound in the patient’s ear to improve hearing [2]. These devices work well under most conditions however, in noisy settings such as a busy restaurant, hearing aids also amplify some of the unwanted background noise [2-6]. This can limit an individual’s ability to hear and communicate which can be an isolating and uncomfortable experience.