News archive - January 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Manipulating microbes: Biology grad student joins research team’s efforts to turn a microbe into a genome engineering tool

Ola Matysiakiewicz looks at a solution in the lab.

Byline: Emilie Spasov, Biology MSc. student

Sometimes life gives you unexpected opportunities. For University of Waterloo grad student Ola Matysiakiewicz, that opportunity was the chance to work on engineering a bacterium’s genome.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Waterloo’s winning iGEM team recruiting for the 2017 competition

Waterloo iGEM logo

There’s nothing like a winning tradition: last year’s Gold Medal standing at the 2016 International Jamboree was Waterloo’s fourth straight annual win at a competition that attracts more than 270 teams from 42 countries.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Landfill treasure hunts: Novel microorganisms could be the key to more efficient waste management

Pile of garbage, paper and plastic in landfill.

Byline: Navin Asokumar, Biology MSc. student

Landfills, a way of safely disposing waste, are now considered to be breeding grounds for novel, never before identified microorganisms. Biologists at the University of Waterloo believe these microorganisms have special metabolic abilities that can be harnessed to recycle plant waste.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Farewell fossil fuels: Biologists aim to increase biofuel production output to aid waning fossil fuel reserves

Silhouette of oil pump jack

Byline: Amrit Mehta, Biology MSc. student

The decline in reserves, rising cost of fossil fuel extraction and export, and the environmental impacts of their continued use are making alternative fuel more appealing. The push now is to be able to convert cellulose-containing waste into biofuels.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Phragmites Problem: Aggressive invasive reed threatens wetland ecosystem processes

Phragmites

Byline: Sarah Kim, Biology MSc. student

Wetlands in North America are home to a very diverse set of native plants. But an invasive reed called common reed (Phragmites australis) has been expanding rapidly and could potentially threaten the ecosystem processes in the wetlands it inhabits.

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