ADveNTUre by sdfgsg234


									                                                           A vIrTUAl UNDerseA

   Dr. Ballard looks on at an Immersion Presents Theatre

   In an age of portable video games,                instant messaging and the Internet, how do you spark               of Ocean Technology, Marine Institute. “We are
   interest in students to pursue careers in ocean sciences? Enter Dr. Robert Ballard, a legend in the ocean            extremely pleased to be able to offer students the
   exploration field, with Immersion Presents - an innovative educational tool designed to inspire the next             opportunity to explore the advanced technologies
   generation of ocean explorers.                                                                                       being used in ocean activities and showcase the
                                                                                                                        career opportunities that these technologies afford
   Ballard, hailed for his discovery of the Titanic, is using a combination of satellite and Internet technologies to   them.”
   create a virtual underwater experience. Students and researchers can observe and interact with some of the
   world’s most incredible undersea habitats and animals - without even getting their toes wet.                         Immersion Presents will allow students to learn first-
                                                                                                                        hand about ocean technology and reinforce the idea
   Immersion Presents’ telepresence technology made its Canadian debut this spring at the Marine Institute              that you do not have to spend your days in a wet suit
   (MI) in St. John’s, when students were treated to a real-time adventure at the Monterey Bay National Marine          in order to pursue a career in the ocean sciences.
   Sanctuary in California. Through web video, several hundred students could observe what was happening
   underwater and pose questions in real-time to on-site scientists.

   Ballard visited the Marine Institute in June 2008 to officially launch its permanent Immersion Presents
   Theatre - the only location in Canada. Immersion Presents operates through 30 sites in aquariums, museums
                                                                                                                             DID YOU KNOW?
   and science centres in the Unites States and Mexico.                                                                           From October 15-18,
                                                                                                                                  Memorial University
   A highlight of the program is a recent expedition of the research vessel Endeavor. Last July, researchers                      played host to

   from Memorial University and the University of Rhode Island (Ballard’s home-base) took part in a week-long                     Knowledge in Motion.
   expedition off this province’s coast. Elements of the mission were incorporated in the Immersion Presents                      This international
   program, including videos and blogs by the researchers.
                                                                                                                                  conference explored
   MI is now working closely with educators to integrate the new technology into the school curriculum.
                                                                                                                                  how institutions of
   “Immersion Presents is a fun and powerful science education program,” said Dwight Howse, head, School                          higher education can
                                                                                                                                  further knowledge
                                                                                                                                  transfer in a regional
Volume 15              Issue 5                                                                                                    development context.

www.theamb as sad
MeMOrIAl UNIversITY reseArcher FOIls The FlU
A unique method of detecting and                              Beaulieu also envisions other applications for the          technology could also ensure the safety of biohazard
measuring the influenza virus discovered by Dr. Luc           technology. For instance, “one of the things I’m            lab workers, and by extension the public, using leak-
Beaulieu of Memorial University has secured him the           envisioning is a chip,” says Beaulieu. “All through         sensing levers. Airborne communicable diseases may
2008 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award. The prize,           this chip would be cantilevers in ‘pockets,’ and each       also be preventable on airlines using an on-board air
valued at $25,000, is given to outstanding young              pocket would be receptive to a different molecule. This     monitoring system. “Before the plane even landed on
researchers at Canadian universities, colleges and            chip could then be used to help diagnose what sort of       Canadian soil, you could sense if the virus was in the
major research institutes.                                    contaminants might be in a particular atmosphere,           atmosphere,” says Beaulieu.
                                                              even when they’re in very small amounts.”
Beaulieu’s cantilever sensor, developed in collabora-                                                                     All of these applications and more are well within
tion with Ken Hirasawa from the Faculty of Medicine,          Beaulieu’s levers also have potential as a diagnostic       the realm of possibility, Beaulieu attests. The value
can best be described as an almost invisible beam             tool. Just imagine a painless, non-invasive and             of his continued research, thanks to his Petro-Canada
that is fixed at one end and free at the other, jutting       instantaneous test for detecting numerous ailments –        Award, lies in that potentiality.
out of its base at about a 45 degree angle.                   all the patient need do is breathe on a small card. The

On this lever, Beaulieu lines up receptor molecules
that react with the flu virus. When the lever is placed
in the presence of the virus, it bends. The amount of
bending is directly relatable to the concentration of
virus in the air.

The real-world result is a tiny, portable, and virtually
immediate way of knowing if you are at risk for
contracting the flu.

Beaulieu’s work is indicative of the kind of innovative
research being carried out at Memorial University and
supported through the province’s Industrial Research
and Innovation Fund (IRIF). Recognizing the value of
Beaulieu’s research, Memorial availed of $170,876
from IRIF to support the early stages of Beaulieu’s
research into understanding and pushing the limits
of cantilever-based sensors.
                                                                                                                          Dr. Luc Beaulieu poses with a cantilever sensing system
                                                                                                                                                          Photo: Chris Hammond

heArT-sTOppINg geNe sTOppeD IN ITs TrAcKs
For generations, 16 families in Newfoundland                  at Memorial was the key. In close collaboration             for Interdisciplinary Research in Human Genetics.
and Labrador have been haunted by a mysterious dis-           with clinical staff that identify and treat patients        Thanks to Young and a team of genetics researchers
ease that claimed the lives of their young men, striking      and families affected by ARVC, Young and her team           at Memorial University, the new facility is being
them down in their prime, often utterly without warning.      embarked on a dedicated journey of discovery.               created for research in founder population effect in
                                                                                                                          Newfoundland and Labrador with a focus on human
Today, those families are breathing a little easier –         Such dedication paid off with the identification            genetics research.
and living a lot longer – thanks to an interdisciplinary      of the gene mutation that causes ARVC. “I think it
team of genetic and clinical researchers at Memorial          was a combination of team work, perseverance on
University, led by Dr. Terry-Lynn Young.                      our part, and being very good at what we do,” says
                                                              Young of their success.
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
(ARVC) affects the muscle of the heart, turning healthy       Today, a simple blood test can determine if you
tissues into fibrous, fatty ones. This weakens the            are at risk for ARVC. Individuals with the mutation
heart, decreasing its ability to pump with the power          can undergo a surgical procedure to have a small
needed to send blood throughout the body.                     defibrillator device inserted into the wall of the heart.
                                                              If the heart stops, the device delivers an electrical
For those with ARVC this weakness can lead to                 charge shocking it back to life.
arrhythmia, or an irregular beat, and occasionally
defibrillation, a stopping of the heart. More disturbing,     Young says some ARVC patients have been able to
however, is that it can lead to sudden cardiac death.         add 10 to 15 years to their lives thanks to the device,
                                                              and says there are about 100 people in this province
Young explains how this unexpected killer impacts             “walking around with one of these in their chests”
lives. “These families have horrendous stories about          and that “many have already gone off.”
their men dropping dead over the Christmas holidays,
in front of their kids, in the woods, having a car accident   Young is expanding her research into other forms
that was unexplained. There can be an overwhelming            of ARVC in global populations. An investigation into
feeling of helplessness and desperation. One lady put         a patient group in the United Kingdom has already
it to me this way: she said, ‘everybody knows that in         begun. However, the impact of Young’s research
our family the men don’t last.’”                              does not stop there. Last August, the Canada
                                                              Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced $11.2
So how did they finally put a stop to this killer?            million in funding under its Research Hospital Fund
Young says that the research done by her lab team             to establish The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre              Dr. Terry-Lynn Young
chIcAgO sKYscrAper pUT TO The TesT AT MArINe sIMUlATOr

The full motion simulator at the Centre for Marine Simulation is
encircled by a 360 degree video screen
Photo: Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development

perched on massive leg-like pistons                            heights. The simulator was programmed to mimic        The CMS has since been awarded a second
and encircled by a 360 degree video screen, the                the sway forces that would act on the structure       simulation contract with Motioneering and has also
world’s only full motion bridge simulator is enough            caused by various weather conditions. After many      been asked by the company to host a workshop this
to make even the most steadfast ‘landlubber’ long              months of preparation, a test group was subjected     fall for some of the world’s most elite structural
for a high-seas adventure.                                     to vibrations, twisting, and turning as though they   engineering firms. Using the centre’s simulation
                                                               really were on the 140th floor.                       facilities, participants will explore how and why
This miracle of engineering and technology makes                                                                     buildings move under external forces and, as a
its home at the Marine Institute’s Centre for Marine           Their reaction? “It completely knocked their socks    result, learn how to design human habitats with
Simulation (CMS) in St. John’s. The centre specializes         off. They never knew it was possible,” says Captain   increased safety and comfort in mind.
in simulation-based training and applied research              Hearn with a broad smile.
services in ship navigation, marine engineering and
ship communications.

Captain Christopher Hearn, the centre’s director,
proudly notes, “this centre is the most complex
                                                                   DID YOU KNOW?
and advanced marine simulation centre in North                        st. John’s-based c-cOre has been providing innovative engineering
America. There’s no one that can do what we do. Our                   solutions to a global clientele for more than 30 years. Focused on
clientele is international and everyone that comes                    r&D in ice engineering, harsh environment technology and petroleum
here appreciates the unique suite of expertise that                   exploration, they received the 2008 Distinction in Innovation Award
we have.”                                                             from the provincial government.
That singular knowledge and experience is
exactly why the CMS was recently contracted by
Motioneering Incorporation of Guelph, Ontario to                      sIFe (student in Free enterprise) Memorial has been named best in
conduct motion testing on something not marine-                       the world, winning the sIFe World cup in singapore. comprised of 50
based at all – a skyscraper named “The Chicago
                                                                      students from Memorial University, the team has represented canada
Spire.” Motioneering was looking to collect
information on how the building would react under
                                                                      on two previous occasions at the sIFe World cup, placing second in the

various weather conditions. The usual wind tunnel                     world last year at the competition in New York.
data and mathematical models simply would not
do: they wanted to feel what it would be like to be
on the 140th floor during one of Chicago’s famous                     Blue Line Innovations, a locally-based energy technology firm,
                                                                      received the Association of energy service professionals Award
The team at CMS created a luxurious condo in the                      for Outstanding Energy Efficiency Technology Deployment in 2006.
simulator, complete with furniture, chandeliers                       The company’s PowerCost MonitorTM allows at-home users to track
and wine glasses on a dining table. A 360 degree                      how much electricity they are currently using both monetarily and
skyscape was created from multiple viewpoints and                     in kilowatts.
     get the                         eNTrepreNeUrIAl spIrIT rIsINg AT FAcUlTY OF eNgINeerINg
                                      The thrill of research lies in its potential: the potential       the course of their work, a graduate student – Dean Pelley –
                                      for discovery; the potential for earth-shattering change; the     learned that there was industry-wide concern over the design
newfoundland and labrador
                                      potential for saving lives; and not least, the potential for      of some of the hook release mechanisms on lifeboats. In
is rapidly making a name for          profit. This is certainly true at Memorial University’s Faculty   response, Pelley developed a better hook release technology
itself globally for its leadership    of Engineering, where graduate students and researchers           and started a new company - Mad Rock Marine Solutions –
in nurturing innovation and           continually look to solve real world problems, often with         to bring it to market. That company is now a market leader
research and development.             amazing and practical results.                                    and has had an enormous impact on maritime safety.

                                      Associate Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Brian Veitch says, “the        “What I learned from this experience is that entrepreneurship
The Ambassador newsletter
                                      faculty is very interested in supporting entrepreneurship         can be a powerful route to impact.” says Dr. Veitch.
highlights many of the                and wealth creation. There are many professors here at
innovative companies and              Memorial involved in the ‘real world’ of business.”               Having witnessed the success of Mad Rock Marine Solutions,
industry successes dominating                                                                           Veitch and his R&D colleagues created Virtual Marine
the news in newfoundland and          Dr. Veitch has dedicated much of his career to conducting         Technology to bring yet another safety technology to market.
labrador, and winning attention       applied research in the field of offshore and maritime            This time around, it was simulators used to train mariners
                                      safety. “As a researcher, I’m free to do whatever I feel is       and offshore petroleum personnel how to operate small
around the world.
                                      important. Safety is something I am passionate about - the        craft in difficult conditions.
                                      idea of improving safety.”
                                                                                                        “It’s difficult to train people to operate real vessels such as
     Become a                         He explains that his manner of work produces two things           lifeboats in harsh weather or under emergency conditions,

sUBscrIBer                            in equal measure: new information and highly qualified
                                      people. “My research colleagues and the students with
                                                                                                        so we developed immersive simulators as a way to bridge
                                                                                                        the training gap. Again, it was a graduate student – Randy
             IT’s Free                whom we work are the source of the ideas that spring out          Billard - who took the helm of the new company and as it has
                                      of our research group, sometimes with surprising results,”        grown, so have his entrepreneurial skills.”
help us promote newfoundland          he says.
and labrador at home, across                                                                            When asked to what he might attribute this apparent surge
                                      To illustrate, Veitch brings forward two previous students as     in entrepreneurial activity at the faculty, Veitch replied,
canada and around the world.
                                      excellent examples – Dean Pelley and Randy Billard.               “Passionate people and innovative ideas. Under the right
                                                                                                        conditions, this combination sets off a wealth generating
                                      First, Veitch tells the story of when he and a colleague,         reaction with student entrepreneurs in the thick of it. This is
                                      Antonio Simoes Re, conducted wave tank experiments. In            the milieu we’re trying to create.”
t 709.729.1326
                                                                                                               DID YOU KNOW?
  1.800.563.2299                                                                                                  student-run eastern edge
m ambassador Program                                                                                              robotics brings together four
  department of innovation,                                                                                       post-secondary institutions to
  Trade and rural                                                                                                 create a single functional robot
  development                                                                                                     for entry in the annual Marine
  p.O. Box 8700                                                                                                   Advanced Technology education
  st. John’s, nl A1B 4J6                                                                                          (MATe) International remotely
                                                                                                                  Operated vehicle (rOv)
                                                                                                                  competition. The team captured
                                                                                                                  top honours in 2008, as well as
                                                                                                                  2005 and 2006.

                                                                                                                  In 2009, the centre for Marine
The Ambassador newsletter is a                                                                                    simulation (cMs) will recreate
 publication of the government                                                                                    The roosevelt – captain Bob
 of newfoundland and labrador.                                                                                    Bartlett’s ship – on their full
 no part of this publication may                                                                                  motion bridge simulator. The
  be reproduced without written                                                                                   public will be invited to see, hear
permission from the department                                                                                    and feel what it was like on that
  of innovation, Trade and rural                                                                                  vessel in the North in 1909.
                                        Dr. Brian Veitch

                                      I       FOr MOre INFOrMATION ABOUT The individUAls, cOmpAnies And OrgAnizATiOns
                                              feATUred in This issUe, visiT The fOllOWing WeBsiTes.

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