Engineered Polymers for Nucleic Acid Therapies: Phase 2

Nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA offer exceptional opportunities to fight against cancers. To use nucleic acids effectively in a clinical setting, one needs to use effective delivery vehicles that can deliver the nucleic acids into the diseased cells. This project will develop effective delivery systems for this purpose. The delivery systems will be used to deliver RNA based therapeutic agents in 2 diseases, namely in solid cancers such as breast/lung cancers and in hematological cancers.

Innovative hybrid carbohydrate and lipid-based nanomedicines for gene delivery

Genes are input signals that command the cell to synthesize specific proteins to have the specific cellular functions as outputs. Thus, by adjusting the gene expression, desire/unwanted cellular function can be added/eliminated. Gene therapy acquired significant attention as it relies on using exogenous nucleic acid to add/regulate specific gene expression thus this novel therapy possesses tremendous potential to be used in cancer management, treating hereditary diseases, and vaccines.

Approximate Spin Processors (ASPs): an Energy-efficient Combinatorial Optimization Problem Solver for Edge Devices

Combinatorial optimization problems widely appear in various social and industrial applications, such as the vehicle routing and transportation problems. They are challenging to solve for traditional computing. Moreover, especially in edge devices, there is a high demand for in-time response and low power. However, the large energy consumption for these numerous operations and data fetches are the main obstacles for the hardware implementation of a problem solver. Our project will address the problem of time by using natural computing with parallel processing.

The Livingston fossil macroflora: reconstructing the paleoclimate and paleoecology of an ancient forest from southern Alberta

Plants closely reflect the climate where they grow as they are immobile and must interact and adapt to the conditions of their environment. Given this relationship between plants and the environment, fossil plants can be used to reconstruct past environments, and groups of fossil plants more generally provide a valuable record of ancient climates and ecosystems. The proposed project will involve research on fossil plants of early Paleocene age (~60 million years ago), recovered from sites in northeast Calgary, Alberta.

Commercialization of Selective Hybrid High Throughput Fused Direct and Filament Deposition Modeling System

While newer, advanced Filament Fused Deposition Modeling (FFDM) 3D printing systems for additive manufacturing of plastics products have been designed in order to increase rate productions similar to conventional plastic transformation processes.

Lipid mediators of growth for cellular agriculture

Cellular agriculture aims to generate more sustainable approaches to the production of agricultural products, and this nascent field requires the development of new tools to enhance controlled cell growth. In this project, we will investigate the use of insect cell biomass to produce specific phospholipids that can be used to enhance cellular growth. We will examine known pathways that are activated by exogenous phospholipids in mammalian cells. We will determine optimal compositions and formulation of the lipids for stimulating cell growth in multiple cell lines.

Evaluating the effectiveness of aquatic habitat restoration on the Toronto Waterfront for fish communities over multiple decades

Biodiversity within aquatic ecosystems in the Laurentian Great Lakes has been impacted by numerous stressors and the Toronto Waterfront is an example of these impacts, which has experienced rapid urban growth and expansion over the past 200 years. To improve degraded aquatic ecosystems, the restoration of aquatic habitat that supports fish biodiversity has been a staple of redevelopment along the Toronto Waterfront.Understanding how the size, type, and environmental conditions of habitat enhancements contribute to resulting biodiversity outcomes is uncertain.

Developing an Automated Response Characterization Tool Based on Affect, Content, and Linguistic Features of the Casper Test

Open-ended questions are where respondents consider hypothetical scenarios that they might encounter in real life and describe what action(s) they might take in response to each situation. To assess a test-taker’s responses to these questions, a human scoring process (i.e., human raters marking each response individually) is followed. Despite following clear scoring criteria, human raters are likely to take additional factors (e.g., word choices) into account when scoring open-ended questions. Therefore, to what extent how someone writes influence the scoring needs to be carefully evaluated.

A Data-Driven Modeling Approach for Estimating Methane Emission Sources from Satellite, Environmental, and Oil/Gas Well Data

There has been an increased commitment to capping GHG emissions from oil/gas (O/G) operations.

Absorption of colostral immunoglobulins in neonatal dairy calves

Calves are born without antibodies needed to fight off disease. The only source of antibodies available for the first few weeks of a calf’s life comes from maternal colostrum, the first milk produced by the cow. Calves are able to absorb these antibodies for approximately 24 hours of life, and absorption rates vary widely. Currently, only 15-50% of antibodies consumed are actually absorbed, requiring much improvement. The proposed research project will investigate how, where, and when the antibodies are absorbed.

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