Research News

New diagnostic tool identifies nasal tumour-causing virus in sheep

Sarah Wootton in her lab.

Prof. Sarah Wootton
Photo by Nicholas Murphy, SPARK

A retro-viral wolf in sheep’s clothing

By Kyra Lightburn

An effective, non-invasive and inexpensive method for diagnosing the nasal tumour-causing virus in sheep and goats has been developed at the University of Guelph.

The virus, known as enzootic nasal tumor virus (ENTV -1), has been the target of Prof. Sarah Wootton and her University of Guelph colleagues.

They studied a flock of 80 horned Dorset sheep with a history of Enzootic nasal adenocarcinoma in Ontario throughout 2014. Wootton developed a diagnostic technique, known as...

Read more: New diagnostic tool identifies nasal tumour-causing virus in sheep

50 research accomplishments over 50 years - presenting the latest UofG Research magazine

50 research accomplishments over 50 years - presenting the latest UofG Research magazine

Up to their knees in peas

Photo of John Zandstra in a field.

Photo Credit:  Liz Meidlinger, Ridgetown Campus.

Unprecedented yields in trials resulted from cool, moist weather

By Elisabeth Aerts  

Unprecedented pea yields have been seen by researchers in the most recent small plot field trials for late seeded varieties, conducted at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus.

The 2014 trials, led by John Zandstra, found 10 of the 57 varieties tested produced more than 7,000 pounds of harvestable crop /acre.

By contrast, previous trials reached 4,500 pounds/acre.

 “Most impressive for us, was that the highest yielding late seeded variety...

Read more: Up to their knees in peas

New research reveals disease-fighting potential of soy

Prof. Yoshi Mine holds soy beans

Soybeans as natural anti-inflammatories

By Alexandra Sawatzky

Ontario consumers may have a new reason to incorporate soybeans into their diets. Besides being rich in both macro- and micronutrients, increasing attention is being directed towards its powerful disease-fighting potential. Of particular interest is the role of soy proteins in reducing chronic gut inflammation.

Working to improve the understanding of soy’s anti-inflammatory properties is Prof. Yoshinori Mine, Dept. of Food Sciences at the University of Guelph. Currently, he’s...

Read more: New research reveals disease-fighting potential of soy

Nutrition is a key in keeping companion animals healthy

close-up of Adronie Verbrugghe holding a cat

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) promotes discovery and innovation by funding exceptional Canadian post-secondary research.  Ontario Veterinary College clinical studies professor Andronie Vergrugghe is a recent recipient of an NSERC Discovery Grant.  She was recognized for her creative and innovative long-term research on companion animal nutrition.  Vergrugghe’s specific interest is feline nutrition.  In her most recent work, she investigates ways to stimulate cats’ metabolisms to help them burn fat and also scrutinizes the link...

Read more: Nutrition is a key in keeping companion animals healthy

Gender-based discrimination is this CRC’s target

Sharada Srinivasa standing in front of a shelf of books in the library

The Canada Research Chairs program helps universities across the country attract some of the world’s most accomplished and promising researchers.  At Guelph, international development professor Sharada Srinivasan holds the Canada Research Chair in Gender, Justice and Development.  Her research on gender-based discrimination and violence is an integral part of a three-country study examining the social transformation of East and South Asia by the “daughter deficit.”  Millions of girls in those societies have been lost due to sex-selective abortion, infanticide and...

Read more: Gender-based discrimination is this CRC’s target

A global key influencer in developing vaccines

Mario Monteiro sitting in a lab

After an extensive international poll by vaccinenation.org and the World Vaccine Congress Europe, chemistry professor Mario Monteiro was named one of the world’s key influencers in vaccine development.  Monteiro has developed vaccines against diarrhea, including one to protect against Campylobacter jejuni  (traveller’s diarrhea) that is now being evaluated in human clinical trials.  Monteiro was the only Canadian researcher in the top-50 listing and the first Guelph researcher to have technology reach human clinical testing.


"Lab on a Chip" detects subclinical disease

close-up of Suresh Neethirajan holding the lab on a chip

A new system for effectively and efficiently sampling and analyzing blood from livestock has been developed by engineering professor Suresh Neethirajan.  Known as Lab on a Chip, the tiny, field-deployable system is directed at testing specifically for subclinical ketosis.  This condition puts cows at risk of ketosis, a disease that reduces fertility and milk production.  The system was developed in the University’s BioNano Laboatory where Neethirajan is the principal investigator.  Lab on a Chip will be site-tested in 2015 at the Livestock Research and Innovation...

Read more: "Lab on a Chip" detects subclinical disease

Understanding the range of environmental challenges facing pollinators

Global pollinator declines are of urgent concern for maintaining food production and wild plant diversity.  Understanding the range of environmental challenges faced by bees, butterflies and other insects is the focus of pollination conservation expert Nigel Raine.  He joined the University of Guelph as the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation in May 2014.  Canada’s first research chair in pollinator conservation was endowed by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation in the name of Wendy Rebanks.  As well as leading cutting-edge research programs, Raine takes...

Read more: Understanding the range of environmental challenges facing pollinators

Biodegradable nanoparticles

Physics professor John Dutcher and his team have discovered a new type of polysaccharide nanoparticle derived from Ontario corn.  The discovery, trade-named PHYTOSPHERIXTM, could serve as a non-toxic and biodegradable replacement for petroleum-based compounds and engineered nanoparticles, making consumer products and pharmaceuticals more environmentally friendly.  Dutcher and his team received support from the OMAFRA – U of G Partnership to help bring PHYTOSPHERIXTM technology to the marketplace.