When the second wave of the Spanish flu hit Canada over 100 years ago, the effect was even more devastating than that of its first wave. In fact, 90 percent of the deaths happened in the fall of 1918, during the pandemic’s second peak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ishita Saraswat, a senior undergraduate student from Dayalbagh Educational Institute Dayalbagh, Agra in India and her Tunisian peer, Aymen Brahim from the University of Sfax’s National School of Electronics and Telecommunication (ENET’COM) are Mitacs Globalink Interns who have discovered that the best approach is to identify the problem and implement the solution at the same time via an online app.
In this age group, around 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men will sustain at least one subsequent osteoporotic fracture in their remaining lifetime. After older adults sustain a hip fracture, decline in function and mobility can be rapid. The result is an increased dependency on care and financial burdens placed on their caregivers and the healthcare system. Up to half of hip fracture patients do not return to their pre-fracture functional levels and end up in long-term care institutions.
If, for example, a panicked person shouts for help, Zenbo may suggest calling 9-1-1 because it understands the underlying need for emergency assistance. This sort of empathic response could make robots an important companion in care homes, hospitals, and at home.
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.