News for Future graduate students

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.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Repairing childhood trauma: Newly discovered pathway links adult mental illness to childhood

Two cartoon figures - one in the corner and the other looking down

Byline: Jonathan Sutley, Pharmacy MSc student

Chronic early life social isolation is linked with negative psychological and social outcomes in adulthood. Waterloo researchers have discovered social isolation changes unusual protein expression in the adult brain of rodents who socially isolated. Examining how stress affects the brain on a molecular level can help researchers get insight into disorders like schizophrenia and depression.   

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Missing Piece: Understanding the hothead protein’s role in plant cuticle formation

Eric Le Dreff-Kerwin looks at a protein structure on a laptop.

Byline: Quinn Abrams, Biology MSc student

Missing a single protein can have lethal consequences for plants. Cuticles are the waxy wall that protects plants from sunlight, pesticides, and dehydration. But damage to the cuticle, like when the Hothead protein is missing, causes the wall to fall down.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A chilling immune system: Low temperatures slow down fish immune response to infection

Fumehood with glassware and samples

Byline: Éric Le Dreff-Kerwin, Bioloyg MSc. student

The sudden decrease in sporting fish is leading to a potential ecological disruption, if not an economical loss. Due to a lowering in water temperatures, walleye are doing more than wish they could wrap themselves up in a warm blanket.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Multi-tasking drugs: Researchers develop drug candidates that target multiple disease-causing factors

Artistic representation of a brain and neurons.

Byline: Nyasha Gondora, Pharmacy PhD student

Alzheimer's disease claims more lives a year than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Current Alzheimer’s drugs on the market have limited effectiveness because they do not treat all of the disease-causing factors. Researchers from Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy are working to develop drug candidates that can target multiple Alzheimer's pathways.