Promotive Communications

Laboratory Focus March 2010

Laboratory Focus is Canada's leading editorial-based lab publication. Providing readers with the latest technology updates through application and tech notes, as well as covering new products and trends in laboratories across Canada.

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P h a r mac e u tical C li n ical C h e mical food w w w. b i o s c i e n c e w o r l d . c a Air-cushion Pipette Influence of physical parameters Page 8 environment MARCH 2010 Volume 14, Number 2 The Canadian Light Source A Leading Light for Macromolecular Crystallography Page 12 R&D News.......................... 1 Pharma Notes. ................... 6 . Appointments..................... 7 New Products................... 14 Calendar........................... 17 Career Spotlight............... 18 New study of Walkerton victims leads to PI-IBS breakthrough A team of researchers from McGill and McMaster universities have been studying the victims of the tainted drinking water tragedy in Walkerton, ON. Their research has led the team to discover DNA variations in genes that increase the risk of developing post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS). This was a unique opportunity to study the origin of the disorder, given the scale of infection and the recording of the health of Walkerton's citizens. PI-IBS is a functional bowel disorder that has an acute onset after an episode of gastroenteritis. "These patients suffer from chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating and disturbed defecation in the absence of any detectable structural or biochemical abnormalities," said John K. Marshall, a gastroenterologist. "After the exclusion of known organic disorders, like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, such patients are diagnosed with PI-IBS." "Although the exact cause of PI-IBS remains unknown, we now know for the first time that, in addition to the environmental trigger, genetic factors are also playing a critical role in the development of this disease," explains McGill PhD Alexandra-ChloƩ Villani, who led the team under the direction of principal investigators John K. Marshall (McMaster) and Denis Franchimont (formerly of McGill). Stephen Collins (McMaster) also collaborated. Almost 10 years ago, the mu- Publications Mail Registration Number: 40052410 nicipal water supply of Walkerton was contaminated with E. coli and Campylobacter jejuni, leading to a public health disaster. Seven people died and 2,300 suffered symptoms, including bloody diarhea. Of these 2,300, 36 per cent developed PI-IBS, giving the town the highest incidence of PI-IBS ever reported. UBC to receive $10.3 million in funding for Strategic Networks Researchers at the University of British Columbia have received $10.3 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to lead and coordinate two Strategic Networks in machining and biomaterials technology. Part of $56 million in grants for 11 Strategic Networks, the NSERC grants fund large-scale, multidisciplinary research projects that could significantly enhance Canada's economy, society and environ- ment within the next decade. "We are grateful to NSERC and the Government of Canada for their continued investment in research collaborations that will generate new and immediately applicable knowledge to some of the most pressing and intriguing technological questions of our day," said John Hepburn, UBC vice president, Research and International. "UBC has a stellar track record of multi-disciplinary research and the addition Continued on page 2

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