McMaster Innovation Park: Double finalist for the CoreNet 2nd Annual REmmy Awards

McMaster Innovation Park is a finalist for two awards under the CoreNet Canadian Chapter REmmy awards for many of our green initiatives in the construction of all three buildings currently on our park, as well as continued support for sustainability with the current Fading Footprints program.

Check out our Sustainable Design or MIP Efficiency Sheets(work in progress). The full list of finalists can be found here.


McMaster Study debunks controversial MS Theory

There is no evidence that impaired blood flow or blockage in the veins of the neck or head is involved in multiple sclerosis, says a McMaster University study.

The research, published online by PLOS ONE Wednesday, found no evidence of abnormalities in the internal jugular or vertebral veins or in the deep cerebral veins of any of 100 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with 100 people who had no history of any neurological condition.

The study contradicts a controversial theory that says that MS, a chronic, neurodegenerative and inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, is associated with abnormalities in the drainage of venous blood from the brain. In 2008 Italian researcher Paolo Zamboni said that angioplasty, a blockage clearing procedure, would help MS patients with a condition he called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). This caused a flood of public response in Canada and elsewhere, with many concerned individuals lobbying for support of the ‘Liberation Treatment’ to clear the veins, as advocated by Zamboni.

“This is the first Canadian study to provide compelling evidence against the involvement of CCSVI in MS,” said principal investigator Ian Rodger, a professor emeritus of medicine in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. “Our findings bring a much needed perspective to the debate surrounding venous angioplasty for MS patients”.

In the study all participants received an ultrasound of deep cerebral veins and neck veins as well as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the neck veins and brain. Each participant had both examinations performed on the same day at St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton. The McMaster research team included a radiologist and two ultrasound technicians who had trained in the Zamboni technique at the Department of Vascular Surgery of the University of Ferrara.

The research was funded by a collection of private donors, as well as many concerned individuals who contributed through St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation.

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Eye-popping art at AWP

Hamilton Spectator 

The Jackson Pollock thing. That’s what drives Christopher Gallo’s creativity.

But Gallo does not drip or dribble his paint all over the floor like the American abstractionist.

The Hamilton artist, who is both a painter and sculptor, says he admires Pollock’s spontaneous way of working.

Gallo is one of many artists participating in Art in the Workplace at McMaster Innovation Park. This eye-popping exhibition, the 12th in the series, showcases more than 120 established and emerging local artists, with one or two offerings by each.

Gallo has been making art for more than 20 years. He likes to make three-dimensional pieces using papier mâché techniques, but now uses aluminum foil instead of newspaper strips.

I got a kick out of I’m Fine, Don’t Worry, which consists simply of one hot-pink high-heeled shoe. Looking wobbly, unbalanced and decidedly uncomfortable, this shoe belies its witty title.

The over-the-top heel was inspired, Gallo told me, by the shape of a broken tibia.

He began building his shoe with a wire armature, or framework, which he covered with foil. This part of the process needs care and control. Gallo then painted it in a more impulsive manner, creating a rough, textured and dynamic surface.

Spontaneity is what Helga Morrison embraces when she paints the wilderness. Always a landscape painter, she says she never knows what the final painting will look like until it’s finished.

Her work has evolved from lifelike landscapes to more abstract compositions that are both simplified and complex.

In Spring Rush, Morrison divides her landscape into two simple and clear horizontals. The bottom one, evoking the darkness of water, occupies a third of the pictorial space. The larger band above is painted with pale colours and suggests land and vegetation.

Each horizontal is filled with a complex and animated pattern. The lower strip contains undulating textured shapes that recall waves. The top horizontal boasts more intricate shapes and layers. Dots, dabs and thin straight lines in pinks, blues, greens and yellows push against one another, competing for space.

A more spacious, more ominous, landscape appears in Gary Osland’s Coming Storm. A lone tree, bare and white, stands out against the darkest part of the sky, making for a dramatic juxtaposition.

The intricacy of the tree’s branches contrasts with the austerity of the setting. Osland reduces the land to two uneven hard-edged strips, one light, the other darker. And he paints the sky as a series of soft-edged light and dark forms.

Speaking of drama, Steve Wilson makes a splash with Underwater Diver.

The painted relief consists of two big panels, their rich deep blues suggestive of water. Emerging, literally, from the top panel is a life-size female. We see only her head, chest and outstretched arms as she swims toward us, her hair streaming out behind her. We are looking up to her, so we, too, must be under water.

Regina Haggo, art historian, public speaker, curator and former professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, teaches at the Dundas Valley School of Art.

McMaster Innovation Park launches a Youtube Channel!

August is inventors month. That means it’s time to get innovative!

McMaster Innovation Park has officially launched a YouTube Channel which will feature tips from business professionals on subject matter expertise ranging from social media to getting a new patent, or even working out in the office.

Stay tuned for new videos to come bi-weekly!

Boning up: Researchers find best stem cells for bone marrow transplants

Daily McMaster News 

McMaster researchers have revealed that human blood stem cells found at the ends of bones may improve bone marrow transplants.

The discovery could lead to a lowering of the amount of bone marrow needed for a donation while increasing regeneration and lessening rejection in the recipient patients, says principal investigator Mick Bhatia, professor and scientific director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute.

In a paper published online by the journal Cell Stem Cell, his team reports that human stem cells residing in the end (trabecular region) of the bones display the highest regenerative ability of the blood and immune system.

“Like the best professional hockey players, our findings indicate blood stem cells are not all equal,” said Bhatia. “We now reveal the reason why — it’s not the players themselves, but the effect the arena has on them that makes them the   highest scorers.”

Bone marrow transplants have been done for more than 50 years and are routine in most hospitals, providing a life saving treatment for cancer and other diseases including leukemia, anemia, and immune disorders.

Bhatia, who also holds a Canada Research Chair in Human Stem Cell Biology, said that cells surrounding the best blood stem cells are critically important, as these “stem cell neighbors” at the end of the bone provide the unique instructions that give these human blood stem cells their superior regenerative abilities.

The research was welcomed by others in the field. David Allan, a clinician-researcher with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Ottawa, said the study shows the importance of the bone marrow and bone structures in terms of regulating the blood system.

“To improve the outcome of leukemia treatments and bone marrow transplants, we will have to consider the effects of treatment on the bone structures and supportive cells in the bone marrow,” said Allan. “Dr. Bhatia’s elegant work provides compelling insight on how important the surroundings are in terms of the health of the blood system.”

The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Ontario Cancer Research Institute.