Volume 13, Number 10 January 20, 2006

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CLS signs exchange with Australia

Officials at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne, Australia that will further the existing scientific collaboration between the two facilities.

Scientists from the two countries have been working together on a beamline at the CLS that focuses on minerals industry applications. A news release said there are plans to transfer that technology to the Melbourne synchrotron that is under construction. Researchers also plan to work together on medical imaging and radiation therapy investigations.

Spinoff attracts venture capital

Adnavance Technologies Inc., a U of S spinoff company, has received $3.85 million from four venture capital organizations to develop biosensors for diagnosing disease, DNA-based vaccines, and a new way of producing hydrogen for fuel cells.

The funding includes $1.1 million from the Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund, $1 million from the Working Opportunities Fund managed by GrowthWorks Capital, $1 million from the Business Development Bank of Canada, and $750,000 from B.C. Medical Innovations.

The biosensor and vaccine projects are based on M-DNA, a metal-bearing form of DNA discovered by U of S researchers Jeremy Lee and Palok Aich. The third project involves the production of hydrogen using sunlight.

Province matches CRC funding

The provincial government, through its Innovation and Science Fund, will provide $800,000 to support three research chairs at the U of S, matching the federal government’s contribution to the program.

A November news release said the money will go to John Giesy, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology, Monique Dubé, Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Ecosystem Health Diagnosis, and Qiaoquin Yang, Canada Research Chair in Nanoengineering Coating Technologies.

Health research gets $2.1 million

University of Saskatchewan health researchers looking at everything from cardiovascular health to cognitive functioning in preschool children with health conditions received $2.1 million recently in a program funded by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan.

The Regional Partnership Program is funded equally by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and distributes support within organizations like health regions, hospitals and the province’s two universities.

Funding awarded to the U of S includes operating grants, new investigator awards, post-doctoral fellowships, health professional doctoral awards and doctoral awards as well as new doctoral awards that require matching funds from the U of S.

UVic gets new Aboriginal chair

VANCOUVER – The University of Victoria will soon be home to the country’s first National Chair on Aboriginal Economic Development.

Funded with $2 million from the federal government and $1 million from the province of B.C., the chair will serve as a national focus of expertise and for the advancement of Aboriginal business and economic development, said a UVic news release. The position will be housed in the university’s faculties of Business and Law.

SIAST, U of R offer new degree

REGINA – The University of Regina and SIAST have signed an agreement that will allow graduates of SIAST’s two-year corrections worker program to apply for advanced standing in the university’s Bachelor of Arts, Justice Studies degree programs.

Once accepted at the U of R, Corrections Worker students will have the full rights and responsibilities of a U of R student, and will be able to complete the degree program in as little as two-and-a-half years.

The dean of arts praised the agreement in a new release, saying it is a positive move for the students, the institutions and the province. According to Brenda Lepage, warden at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, staff there will now have the opportunity to pursue academic endeavours. “More importantly it has the potential to strengthen our greatest resources: our people.”

UBC Okanagan looks For underground heat

KELOWNA – Technology known as groundwater geo-exchange will be used to heat and cool some $400 million worth of new buildings at the UBC Okanagan campus, replacing the existing natural gas plant and saving, over 20 years, the emission of some 38,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

A UBC news release said an aquifer under the campus would supply the geo-exchange system whereby water at 10.5 degree C would be pumped out the ground and compressed in winter to raise the temperature to about 54 degrees C to heat buildings. In summer, the groundwater would be used to cool the existing 500,000 square feet of building space as well as an additional 1 million square feet called for in the Campus Master Plan. The groundwater would then be returned to the acquifer.

Building the geo-exchange system will cost $6 million, about $1 million more than a conventional gas-fired plant, but it is expected to save at least $100,000 a year in energy costs.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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