News from the Faculty of Science
New technique may better detect cystic fibrosis in newborns
Researchers have identified new biological markers of cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease which affects children and young adults, leaving them with lifelong health complications including digestive problems and persistent lung infections.
The findings, published in the journal ACS Central Science, shed new light on the underlying mechanisms of CF. They may could lead to improved prognosis and better therapies for a disease which is quite variable, affecting different children in different ways, say researchers.
“There are chemical signatures in sweat that tell us an infant has CF even when they do not exhibit any symptoms,” says Philip Britz-McKibbin, lead author of the study and a professor in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology at McMaster University. “We set out to discover whether there were chemical indicators detected in sweat that could complement the gold standard for CF diagnosis: the sweat chloride test.”
Faculty congratulates Science’s newest member of College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists
Paul McNicholas, Mathematics & Statistics, is among the latest cohort to be elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. He is one of the first people in his field to be elected. McNicholas, Canada Research Chair in Computational Statistics, works to develop approaches that extract as much quality information as possible from big, complex or otherwise ‘tricky’ data, which is key to solving emerging problems in areas as diverse as genetics, disease diagnostics, management science and terrorist behaviour. He was also recently appointed director of the MacDATA Institute.
Congratulations to Stuart Phillips, fellow of the CAHS
Faculty welcomes New Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Environment and Health
Internationally recognized ecotoxicologist, Karen Kidd, has been named the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Environment and Health at McMaster University. Kidd has a joint appointment in the Department of Biology and School of Geography & Earth Sciences, which began July 1. Her research focuses on understanding the effects of human activities on aquatic systems and how contaminants, such as mercury, pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other pollutants, impact the health of fish in freshwater ecosystems in Canada and abroad. She previously held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Chemical Contamination of Food Webs at University of New Brunswick.
The Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Environment and Health is funded by long-time university supporter Stephen A. Jarislowsky, and is aimed at enhancing research excellence in the areas of environment, health and water within the Faculty of Science, and across all Faculties at the University.
Explanation for largest mammalian genome found
The analysis has implications for humans, as similar mechanisms have been observed in human DNA and and contribute to ‘genomic baggage’ or extra DNA.
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- Congratulations to our new 2017 Alumni!
- Faculty of Science names Co-op Student of the Year Winners
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- Congratulations to latest Ontario Early Research Award holder
- New Killam Fellow to study how stars form
- Maureen MacDonald begins term as Dean of Science
- Cancer biologist Juliet Daniel honoured with Harry Jerome Award