Development of qPCR tests for the assessment of water quality
Despite many recent advances in biotechnology, the methods for monitoring water quality remain largely unchanged for the past century. We will use next-generation DNA sequencing technology to guide the design of novel DNA-based tests to improve sensitivity and specificity of water quality testing. There are two challenges which will be addressed by the intern: DNA from the environment has variable quality and we will work with Coastal Genomics, a BC company, to improve the quality of the DNA for analysis; and once we design the rapid DNA-based tests, we will work closely with the BC Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory, which performs a high volume of water testing in BC, to transition these tests from the research laboratory to a environmental testing laboratory. The findings of this research will lead to the development of new and improved tools to monitor water quality in British Columbia and across Canada.