News Article | April 19, 2016
According to the researchers, the Atlantic salmon genome is 2.97 gigabases in size and contains 37,000 genes across 29 chromosomes, and is similar in size to the human genome. This latest work means technologies developed for humans can be applied to wild and farmed salmon around the world. "The Atlantic salmon's genome has already enabled a refinement of the rainbow trout genome and is providing a framework for sequencing and assembling the genomes of other salmonids, such as Coho salmon and Arctic char," says Davidson, a professor in SFU's Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. "The completion of the Atlantic salmon's genome allows this species to take its place beside domesticated animals (e.g., cattle, sheep, pig, chicken) whose genomes are being used routinely to enhance livestock production." The team characterized a Whole Genome Duplication (WGD) event, or mutation, that occurred in 80 million years ago, the fourth in the salmonid lineage, and studied the implications of the salmonid's unique capacity to double its genes, enabling them to dramatically expand the interaction of genes and their environment. While they found the salmonid genome is returning to its original stage following a period of genomic instability, some traces of duplication remain today. "The Atlantic salmon genome provides insights into rediploidization" was the result of collaboration between Davidson and the University of Victoria's Dr. Ben Koop, working as part of an international project involving experts from Canada, Chile and Norway. The project is supported by the International Cooperation to Sequence the Atlantic Salmon Genome (ICSASG). The research provides a reference genome sequence and an atlas of genes that gives a whole new scientific baseline from which to improve and understand fisheries, conservation, ecology, physiology, evolution and aquaculture for over 70 economically, culturally and environmentally important salmonid species. The published research ensures that salmon genes, and opportunities for sustainable farming and wild salmon management, are just a mouse click away. "This publication is a testament to the successful partnership of the ICSASG: they have unravelled the extreme complexity of this species' genome, generated significant amounts of new knowledge and addressed many technological hurdles" says Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome British Columbia. "The collaboration leaves behind a legacy that will benefit research and sustainable development of this economically and environmentally important species in Canada, Norway and Chile and other countries for years to come." More information: Sigbjørn Lien et al. The Atlantic salmon genome provides insights into rediploidization, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature17164
News Article | February 15, 2017
Long-distance couples can share a walk, watch movies together, and even give each other a massage, using new technologies being developed in Carman Neustaedter's Simon Fraser University lab. It's all about feeling connected, says Neustaedter, an associate professor in SFU's School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT). Student researchers in his Surrey campus-based Connections Lab are working on myriad solutions. Among them, researchers have designed a pair of interconnected gloves called Flex-N-Feel. When fingers 'flex' in one glove, the actions are transmitted to a remote partner wearing the other. The glove's tactile sensors allow the wearer to 'feel' the movements. To capture the flex actions, the sensors are attached to a microcontroller. The sensors provide a value for each bend, and are transmitted to the 'feel' glove using a WiFi module. The sensors are also placed strategically on the palm side of the fingers in order to better feel the touch. A soft-switch on both gloves also allows either partner to initiate the touch. "Users can make intimate gestures such as touching the face, holding hands, and giving a hug," says Neustaedter. "The act of bending or flexing one's finger is a gentle and subtle way to mimic touch." The gloves are currently a prototype and testing continues. While one set of gloves enables one-way remote touch between partners, Neustaedter says a second set could allow both to share touches at the same time. Other projects also focus on shared experiences, including a virtual reality video conferencing system that lets one "see through the eyes" of a remote partner, and another that enables users to video-stream a remote partner's activities to a long-distance partner at home (called Be With Me). Meanwhile the researchers are also studying how next-generation telepresence robots can help unite couples and participate in activities together. They've embedded a robot, designed by Suitable Technologies, into several Vancouver homes. There, it connects to countries around the world, including India and Singapore. Researchers continue to monitor how the robot is used. One long-distance couple plans a Valentine's Day 'date' while one partner is in Vancouver, and the other, on Vancouver Island. "The focus here is providing that connection, and in this case, a kind of physical body," says Neustaedter, who has designed and built eight next-generation telepresence systems for families, and is author of Connecting Families: The Impact of New Communication Technologies on Domestic Life (2012). He has also spent more than a decade studying workplace collaborations over distance, including telepresence attendance at international conferences. "Long-distance relationships are more common today, but distance don't have to mean missing out on having a physical presence and sharing space," says Neustaedter. "If people can't physically be together, we're hoping to create the next best technological solutions." As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university--to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada's leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia's three largest cities - Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey - SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 145,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.
News Article | November 10, 2016
Simon Fraser University has received a combined $90 million from the provincial and federal governments to help fund the construction of a new Environmental Engineering and Energy Systems Building in Surrey City Centre. Both levels of government have invested $45 million each with the remainder of the $126 million university expansion funded by SFU and private donors, with donors contributing $26 million and SFU contributing the land valued at $10 million.
News Article | August 22, 2016
Home > Press > Nanotech Security Featured by Simon Fraser University: Company's Anti-Counterfeiting Technology Developed With the Help of University's 4D LABS Materials Research Institute Abstract: Nanotech Security Corp. (TSX VENTURE: NTS) (OTCQX: NTSFF) today announced that the company and its KolourOptik® technology were recently featured by Simon Fraser University. KolourOptik technology is a branding and anti-counterfeiting nanotechnology developed at Simon Fraser University by Nanotech's current Chief Technology Officer Mr. Clint Landrock and current Director Dr. Bozena Kaminska. Nanotech acquired the technology from the creators and SFU in 2014. The university profiled Nanotech's KolourOptik technology, which was used as a security feature on tickets for the Union of European Football Associations' (UEFA) Euro 2016® Football Championship in France. The video and article are available at SFU.ca. KolourOptik technology was developed with help from 4D LABS, a materials research institute located at SFU. Requiring no inks, the technology uses nano-structure holes which are 1,500 times smaller than a human hair, to create high-definition images that can be applied to any substrate. Nanotech is currently focused on developing anti-counterfeiting solutions for secure documents and banknotes. Earlier this year, Nanotech was awarded a contract with UEFA to create a KolourOptik image of the football tournament's mascot, Super Victor. The image, added as a security and branding feature for the game tickets, was created with more than two billion nano-sized holes that reflect light to produce the HD colors. Mr. Landrock stated, "Simon Fraser played a critical role in the initial success of KolourOptik technology. We appreciate the interest and the ongoing support from the university. At most university labs you turn over your work to lab workers. 4D LABS at SFU offers a highly secure facility where our equipment is housed, and our scientists perform all the work." UEFA EURO 2016® is a registered trademark of the Union des Associations Européennes de Football. About Nanotech Security Corp. Nanotech Security Corp. is a leading innovator in the design and production of advanced security products and surveillance solutions. Nanotech's KolourOptik® and Plasmogram products are nanotechnology-based platforms that create intense high definition, optically variable images and colour-shift optical thin films (OTF). Activated by a simple tilt or rotation, with higher resolutions than the best LED-displays, the images and OTF are ideal for authentication of currency, passports, and identification cards in addition to distinguishing branded goods from counterfeits. FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This news release and linked video contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements made in this news release are qualified by risk factors contained in our public filings at www.sedar.com and there can be no assurance that actual results or developments that we currently anticipate will be realized. Additional information about Nanotech and the risks facing its business can be found at the Company's website www.nanosecurity.ca, the Canadian disclosure filings website www.sedar.com or the OTCMarkets disclosure filings website www.otcmarkets.com. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
News Article | October 31, 2016
Canadian universities are leading an international effort to create campuses that will improve the health and well-being of students, faculty and staff CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - October 31, 2016) - The University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Memorial University, Mount Royal University, and the University of Lethbridge are the first universities to formally adopt the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. The charter calls on post-secondary institutions to make a commitment to health and well-being in all policies and practices. "The University of Calgary is committed to creating healthy spaces, policies and programs that support mental health and well-being among students, faculty and staff," said President Elizabeth Cannon. "Our recently launched Campus Mental Health Strategy aligns with our key institutional partners within the framework of the Okanagan Charter and will help to further promote a healthy campus community." UBC and SFU led the development of the charter with international partners. The six Canadian universities adopted the charter to inspire other institutions to follow suit, recognizing that universities and colleges can set an example as communities that promote health. Research shows that health and well-being are essential to learning, retention, productivity, satisfaction and building a sense of community. Universities and colleges are in a unique position to promote well-being through education, research, policies and practices that can be developed on campuses. The Okanagan Charter provides a common framework for universities and colleges to lead this important charge. The newly-formed Canadian Health Promoting Universities and Colleges Network, headed by these first university signatories, is working collaboratively to advance the Charter and encourage health promotion on campuses across Canada and globally. Each institution has made individual commitments to enacting the Okanagan Charter on their campuses in different ways -- from campus-wide mental health strategies, to developing campus spaces that support connection and community. As part of its commitment to the charter, UCalgary has committed a $3 million investment to support the implementation of the Campus Mental Health Strategy. "Our vision is to be a community where we care for each other, learn and talk about mental health and well-being, receive support as needed, and where individually and collectively we realize our potential," Cannon said. The charter will advance the University of Calgary's Mental Health Strategy. This strategy is unique in that it applies to all members of the campus community; students, staff, faculty, post-doctoral fellows and volunteers. Since the launch of the strategy, there has been significant advancement in several of the 32 recommendations. A commitment has been made to view all new polices through a mental health lens, the strategy and its programs will be part of an evaluation strategy to ensure we are advancing the well-being of our entire community. Presidents from the six universities will adopt the Okanagan Charter during the week of October 31, 2016. More information about the Okanagan Charter can be found here: http://internationalhealthycampuses2015.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2016/01/Okanagan-Charter-January13v2.pdf The Okanagan Charter was an outcome of the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges held at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, from June 22-25. A charter working group with members from the UK, Chile, Ecuador, Germany, United States and Canada used an intensive development process to engage people interested in higher education from 45 countries. Higher education leaders and delegates, including network and organization representatives, signed a pledge to bring the charter back to their settings to inspire and catalyze further action towards the creation of health promoting universities and colleges. Representatives from the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) joined in the pledge. About the University of Calgary The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media center at ucalgary.ca/mediacentre
News Article | February 28, 2017
Susan Daly has been the CEO of document security software developer Vitrium Systems for the last six years. She has lead the company through its growth and expansion, overseeing the addition of new features, core technology improvements of the company's flagship product, Vitrium Security, the addition of encrypted web-links for documents to supplement secured PDF distribution, and the soon to come expansion into virtual board room through Vitrium Security's new central user portal. Tell us a bit about yourself and what it is that you do. I’m the CEO of Vitrium Systems, a software company based in Vancouver that provides cloud-based content security, rights management and analytics software to organizations that wish to protect their confidential, sensitive or revenue-generating content. Currently, our platform offers protection of PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files but we’re soon adding other content formats such as video and images. We have clients around the world and they mostly come from the Education, Training, Associations, Research and Financial markets. I have been the CEO of Vitrium for the past 6 years but I have also had 2 children during this time so I’ve had a couple of hiatuses during that time when I took mat leave. As a mom of two small children under 4 and running a company of 15 people, it can be extremely busy and hectic but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way! I like being busy and keeping my mind active. I didn’t start this company as I am not one of the original founders. I was promoted into the position after being with the company for a year, but I still feel that Vitrium is my baby (my 3rd baby I suppose!) and I’m as passionate as any other entrepreneur would be. How did you get involved in the tech world? I discovered my love of tech when I worked as a temp at Compaq Computers in London, UK in 2000. I was on the administration side but I got my first taste at working for one of the largest and most successful tech companies (at the time). It was exhilarating – fast-paced, dynamic and exciting. I lived and worked in London for a year and when I returned home to BC, I decided to complete my business degree from SFU and start working in the tech sector of BC. Over the next 15 years, I worked at various tech companies in Greater Vancouver including ACR Systems, Maximizer Software, Pacific Alliance Technologies, FINCAD, and now Vitrium. What new tech challenges have you faced recently? How did you overcome them? We’re constantly faced with tech challenges as a software company – always trying to keep up with the demands of the ever-changing landscape. Our biggest challenge is usually related to mobile users. Before 2012 for example, our protected documents would not work on iPads or other tablets or smartphones. But then we built an HTML5 mobile friendly viewer so our customers’ end users could open their secured documents on tablets and smartphones. Keep in mind, we had to build the viewer with a high level of encryption to secure the content and also enable various DRM (digital rights management) controls so it’s quite a bit more challenging than building a regular HTML5 website. Today, we continue to improve our software and leverage the advancements made in web and mobile technology for the betterment of our customers. For example, we’re about to launch a new web-based user portal that will be fully responsive design and later in 2017, we’ll be adding video and images to our platform so I’m working closely with our development team through the requirements phase. What do you hope to achieve in the next 3-5 years? I hope to build a world-class, leading organization in our market but more importantly, I hope to inspire and motivate my staff and our younger generation (particularly young girls) to be the better version of themselves and to create opportunities for themselves so they can achieve greatness in their future. I didn’t get to the position I’m in today by sitting on my laurels. I worked hard, put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into my work and into my personal development, and thankfully, it paid off. I was promoted to CEO by the time I was 34 years old and I’m quite proud of that! If there is one thing you could change for women in tech, what would it be? I believe things are changing but I would like to see more men embrace female leadership in the tech world and understand the challenges that we face, particularly with balancing family and work. I would like to see programs designed for men about female leadership in the tech environment. It might sound strange but I think it’s important. I attended The Art of Leadership for Women conference last year in Vancouver, a huge conference that drew in over 1,000 attendees, with about 99.5% of the attendees were female. It would be nice to see these kinds of conferences have more men attend them. It’s wonderful that we have more programs geared for women in leadership and women in tech, but I feel men need to be part of the conversation and need to be included as well, and I mean men who are already at the top, who already hold leadership and board positions. I don’t believe this “breaking the glass ceiling” challenge is going to come from women alone – I believe men have to contribute to this as well. I was lucky and fortunate to have three men on the board for Vitrium who believed in me and saw that I had the necessary skills and attributes to lead a company. I have since grown Vitrium from a 5-person company to a 15-person company and turned it around from a struggling, loss-making organization to a thriving, profitable business. These same men on the board continue to support me and encourage me and I owe a lot of gratitude to them for helping me break through that glass ceiling. That’s what I’d like to see more of. What advice would you give to women looking to break into the technology field? Don’t be intimidated. Stand up, have a voice, be seen and be heard. What do you think will be the “next big thing” in tech? Virtual reality and augmented reality – I’m seeing it and reading about it everywhere! About Vitrium Vitrium provides document security solutions that empower businesses that create, publish, or distribute proprietary, confidential or revenue-generating content. Vitrium’s enterprise document security and digital rights management (DRM) software delivers file-level protection, control, and analytics for insight into how content is used by the audience. Vitrium protected documents have been published and distributed by thousands of companies and accessed by over a million users worldwide. To learn more about Vitrium Security or to try it for yourself, start a free trial now.
News Article | December 7, 2016
Over the past three years, Canadian women desperate to conceive a child endured more than 82,000 attempts to become impregnated using in vitro fertilization (IVF), a reproductive technique that fertilizes a woman's eggs outside of her body. IVF's live birth outcome is between five and 40 per cent, based on the patient's age. That statistic, coupled with an average cost of $10-12,000 per treatment cycle, and the unpredictable emotions that women experience while taking fertility drugs, mean that there is a limit to how many treatments a patient can afford, or endure. New research from SFU engineering science professor Parvaneh Saeedi, however, could revolutionize IVF success rates. An expert in digital image processing and computer vision, she has spent the past four years working with the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM) to develop machine vision software that could help improve fertility treatments. Currently, embryologists must observe an embryo's development over five days before selecting the best ones for transfer to the uterus. To do this, they must remove each embryo from an incubator once a day and study it under a microscope, a time-consuming and subjective process that can potentially harm fragile embryos. n a quest to determine which developmental attributes best predict a successful clinical pregnancy, she first developed complex algorithms to analyze and process hundreds of images of embryos with confirmed pregnancy outcomes. So far, she has created software that can automatically identify two important embryonic structures: the placenta-to-be (the trophectoderm) and the fetus-to-be (the inner cell mass). These two structures are essential in determining an embryo's viability. Now, Saeedi is developing algorithms capable of processing thousands of real-time images of the developing embryos to find, mark and separate those with the highest implantation potential. "IVF is a costly and emotionally difficult process for women who have delayed pregnancy, or have had difficulties becoming pregnant," says Saeedi. "Using digital image processing adds objectivity and automation to embryo analysis and grading. I'm hoping it will increase the likelihood of IVF success while decreasing the number of treatment cycles for each patient." Saeedi's research is funded with a Discovery Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. She is seeking further funding to commercialize her research and make it widely available to fertility clinics.
News Article | February 15, 2017
A study led by SFU biology researcher Gerhard Gries found that the photoreceptors in the eyes of blow flies do more than just help them navigate around surrounding environments. They're also used in an elaborate sexual communication system to aid in their quest to find the perfect mate by filtering out incompatible candidates. "We discovered that the immense processing speed of the blow flies' photoreceptors in their large sexually dimorphic eyes played a critical role in their visual mate recognition system," says Gries. "They use light flash frequency from their wings to communicate to their peers things like age, sex, and even mating status." The study, published by BioMed Central, found that young single female blow flies shared their mating profiles by reflecting light off their wings at a frequency of 178, Hertz (Hz), light flashes per second to attract young single male blow flies, which communicate at 212 Hz. Blow flies are able to screen for age and sex of prospective mates by filtering out flash frequencies. Gries says there are similarities between the blow flies' mate recognition system and Tinder, a dating app that matches approximately 10 million people a day. Tinder users similarly screen for age and sex of prospective matches by using the apps' filtration system. Michael Hrabar, part of the SFU study research team, says anyone using a dating app like Tinder could learn a thing or two from blow flies. "Like blow flies, humans are really good at filtering information. This means creating a good dating profile shouldn't be overlooked. Through a thoughtfully crafted profile you can attract potential partners through your interests, education and other attractive traits." The researchers in this study used an LED pulsing light at 178 light flashes per second to mimic the sexual communication signals sent by females. They found that they were able to attract males even in the absence of real female flies. "What was really surprising was that we noticed that female blow flies were most attractive to males on sunny days. On cloudy days, light flashes from the wings of flying females are absent, which explains the low mating propensity of these flies on cloudy days." The results from this study suggest that the light flash frequency, rather than any morphological characteristics of female flies, is the mate signal. "The next time you take a selfie for your dating profile make sure you have good lighting. What we've learned from blow flies is that good lighting can go a long way in helping you find the partner you've been looking for."
News Article | February 15, 2017
It's all about feeling connected, says Neustaedter, an associate professor in SFU's School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT). Student researchers in his Surrey campus-based Connections Lab are working on myriad solutions. Among them, researchers have designed a pair of interconnected gloves called Flex-N-Feel. When fingers 'flex' in one glove, the actions are transmitted to a remote partner wearing the other. The glove's tactile sensors allow the wearer to 'feel' the movements. To capture the flex actions, the sensors are attached to a microcontroller. The sensors provide a value for each bend, and are transmitted to the 'feel' glove using a WiFi module. The sensors are also placed strategically on the palm side of the fingers in order to better feel the touch. A soft-switch on both gloves also allows either partner to initiate the touch. "Users can make intimate gestures such as touching the face, holding hands, and giving a hug," says Neustaedter. "The act of bending or flexing one's finger is a gentle and subtle way to mimic touch." The gloves are currently a prototype and testing continues. While one set of gloves enables one-way remote touch between partners, Neustaedter says a second set could allow both to share touches at the same time. Other projects also focus on shared experiences, including a virtual reality video conferencing system that lets one "see through the eyes" of a remote partner, and another that enables users to video-stream a remote partner's activities to a long-distance partner at home (called Be With Me). Meanwhile the researchers are also studying how next-generation telepresence robots can help unite couples and participate in activities together. They've embedded a robot, designed by Suitable Technologies, into several Vancouver homes. There, it connects to countries around the world, including India and Singapore. Researchers continue to monitor how the robot is used. One long-distance couple plans a Valentine's Day 'date' while one partner is in Vancouver, and the other, on Vancouver Island. "The focus here is providing that connection, and in this case, a kind of physical body," says Neustaedter, who has designed and built eight next-generation telepresence systems for families, and is author of Connecting Families: The Impact of New Communication Technologies on Domestic Life (2012). He has also spent more than a decade studying workplace collaborations over distance, including telepresence attendance at international conferences. "Long-distance relationships are more common today, but distance don't have to mean missing out on having a physical presence and sharing space," says Neustaedter. "If people can't physically be together, we're hoping to create the next best technological solutions."
News Article | February 28, 2017
SURREY, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SheTalksYVR will be celebrating its third anniversary on March 4. Recognized by CNN International as one of the “Top 10 Things to do in the World” for International Women’s Day, SheTalks has seen close to 150 women grace their stage over the last three years. "Supporting, encouraging and celebrating women’s empowerment is crucial in political times like these," says SheTalks co-founder Barinder Rasode. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration seems hell bent on outlawing abortions and thus, women’s right to choose. Republicans in Congress are looking to cut Medicaid payments and grant money for Planned Parenthood. “With these attacks on women and the right to choose, it’s more important than ever that women elevate themselves,” said Rasode. “One woman may not be able to change the world, but together we can do powerful things.” Tuesday, Feb. 28, the “Trump” hotel in Vancouver is set to open and SheTalks voices its opposition. Organizers urge women to come out of that negative fog, and see firsthand the amazing work women are doing at the upcoming SheTalks event, set for March 4. Featuring 16 real women sharing their raw authentic stories for 8 minutes each, SheTalks provides a safe space for women to connect, engage and learn. Co-founder Natasha Raey says, “It’s so inspirational to see the stories that our speakers have to share, year after year.” This year’s event promises to be an inspirational day. Speakers include SFU Gender Studies professor Dr. Jen Marchbank and Ching Tien, founder of the Canadian Society for Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC). Her dream now is to give young women and girls in rural China the gift of education. Held this year at Surrey City Hall, the event will also feature a number of exhibitors, networking opportunities and a truly meaningful way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Discover all of the amazing speakers here: http://www.shetalks.life/2017_yvr Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/shetalks-yvr-tickets-31503589083?aff=es2