Subject: IIDR eNews - January 16th, 2018

Issue 10 - January 16th, 2018
This Month at the IIDR 

CMCB Facility Highlight: BIOFLO 115 Benchtop Fermenter / Bioreactor

The New Brunswick Scientific BioFlo 115 is the most capable and versatile entry-level fermentor/bioreactor, ideally suited for the medium to large-scale growth of virtually any aerobic or anaerobic cell type - microbes, yeast, insect, plant, and mammalian cells. The BioFlo115 system can be used for both fermentation and cell culture for total flexibility, and the compact control station - which features a colour touchscreen interface, built-in pumps, gas flow controllers, pH/DO foam/level controllers, and more — includes everything needed for total process control.

  • 1 L, 7.5 L and 14 L vessels
  • Monitor and control of temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH
  • Heat blanket
  • Agitation and sparge
  • Foam/level sensors.
Visit the link below to learn more about this product and over 60 other instruments offered within the CMCB.
A Vaccine for Tuberculosis – The Final Frontier

Although Tuberculosis (TB) has infected populations for millennia, it remains a leading cause of death worldwide. At this month’s ID / IIDR Combined Rounds, IIDR researchers Dr. Fiona Smaill and Dr. Zhou Xing presented the many challenges faced with developing effective vaccines against this devastating disease, and described how their 20 plus years of research into TB immunology and vaccine design may have given rise to one of the first effective vaccination strategies in over 95 years.

The Paradox of HBV Evolution as Revealed from a 16th Century Mummy

In their recent publication, Dr. Hendrik Poinar and colleagues performed DNA analysis techniques on the mummified remains of a medieval child buried in the Basilica of Saint Domenico Maggiore in Naples, Italy. Believed from previous scientific analyses (without DNA testing) to have had smallpox, Poinar’s research concludes that the child actually suffered from hepatitis B instead – evidence suggesting that HBV has existed amongst populations for centuries.

Dr. Kaushic Explores Link Between Common Contraceptive Shot & HIV Infection

The IIDR’s Dr. Charu Kaushic, along with colleagues from Cape Town, South Africa and the University of Birmingham, Alabama reviewed the current literature that suggests that the use of depot-medroxy-progesterone acetate (DMPA) – the predominant contraceptive shot in Sub-Saharan Africa – may raise the risk of HIV infection by up to 40 percent within women from high-risk regions. Supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the team goes further to discuss potential biological mechanisms that could contribute to the increased risk of HIV infection in DMPA users versus other contraceptive shots.
Bicarbonate Alters Bacterial Susceptibility to Antibiotics by Targeting the Proton Motive Force

The antibacterial properties of sodium bicarbonate - the chemical compound which forms the dominant buffering system in the human body - have been known for years. However, it's mechanism of action remains widely elusive. In recent work, Dr. Maya Farha and her team in Dr. Eric Brown's lab demonstrate that bicarbonate dissipates the bacterial proton motive force, which many conventional antibiotics are dependent upon for activity and uptake. In the presence of physiological concentrations of bicarbonate, the team showed that bacterial susceptibility to various classes of antibiotics was altered. Further, their team found that bicarbonate exerts antibacterial activity against various disease-causing bacteria, and works together with components of innate immunity to inhibit the growth of various pathogens.

The IIDR Christmas Party Wraps Up 2017

Last month's IIDR Christmas Party was a huge success, as trainees and members came together to celebrate yet another brilliant year at the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research. Read more about the exciting event and its special performances, and how the generous support of our attendees allowed the IIDR to raise almost $600 towards an exciting new scholarship that will be announced later this year.

Congratulations, Dr. Surette!

A huge congratulations to Dr. Mike Surette for being elected to the Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. The Academy, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, recognizes excellence, originality, and leadership in the microbiological sciences. Learn more about the work being done within the Surette lab here
Dr. Miller Discusses Universal Flu Vaccine Research on CHML 900 Global Radio's Bill Kelly Show

In a recent interview, Dr. Matthew Miller discusses his work on the universal flu vaccine, which the Ontario Science Centre named one of the most important scientific achievements of 2017. Listen to the radio interview here, which took place on January 4th at 10am (select from top menus) and spans the 9 – 15min window.

Dr. Loeb Comments on the Continued Spike in Flu Cases on CTV News Channel

IIDR's Dr. Mark Loeb spoke with CTV News Channel about how two strains of the influenza virus are dominating the flu season this year, and how this is impacting the health of Canadians. Watch the full news clip here.

Opportunity for PhD Graduates and Faculty to Contribute to Science Policy

The Canadian Science Policy Fellowship is now accepting applications from prospective fellows interested in undertaking a 12-month policy project with a Canadian government host office. Applicants can apply to up to six approved projects in their area(s) of interest. Applications will be accepted until March 4, 2018. Visit the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship webpage for more information.

! There will be no ID/ IIDR Combined Joint Rounds for the month of February. Click here to view the 2017 - 2018 schedule.

Upcoming Events
Tuesday, January 23rd: Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
Dr. David Vocadlo of Simon Fraser University (hosted by Dr. Eric Brown) 
“Chemical Biology Tools to Perceive and Perturb Glycans and Carbohydrate Processing Enzymes in Living Systems"
11:30 am - 12:30 pm

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