MP REPORT: B.C. leads the way in scientific research

Presentations prove government's investments in university research disciplines working

I have always had an interest in new technologies and as your MP, I often attend presentations from research groups representing various science disciplines.

Recently, I attended two presentations which made me proud to be with a government that has invested significantly in scientific research.  Of the 11 federal government investments in university research disciplines, B.C. was awarded five.

The first event was the Health Research Canada luncheon with Neurosurgeon, Doctor Andres Lozano, Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Lozano presented his findings on studies on the human brain. After scanning the brain of a patient with Parkinson’s, he discovered an area of the brain related to mobility control that was less active.

As activity of the brain is directly related to electro impulses that help send brain messages, Dr. Lozano decided to place an electro probe into the inactive area of the patient’s brain.  Prior to the operation, the patient was uncontrollably shaking.  After he placed the probe through the skull into the problem area he energized the area with a heart pace-maker type device, resulting in the patient having complete control of her body after the procedure.

Dr. Lozano had many videos of patients with tremors, depression, and numerous brain deterioration symptoms that when treated were cured or improved by energizing parts of the brain that had less electro activity. He also ran a test using this technique with six patents with anorexia and found, after six months of treatment, that the patients regained 30 per cewnt of their body weight.

This research is acknowledged as the leading edge in the world and the University of Toronto as the global centre for this research.  Dr. Lozano stated within six to eight years patients will be able to go to a medical clinic and have basically parts of their brain re-energized through this procedure.  Dr.  Lozano is also working on dementia, hoping that through this procedure, devastating brain deterioration, can be reversed.

The second presentation was a report on your government’s investments in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The presentation pertained to the Research in the faculty of forestry at the University of B.C.

Researchers were collecting data on the genetic makeup of various tree species.  Studying the genetic makeup of the trees to identify their genome will hopefully produce a tree that will reach maturity quicker, be hardier and provide better wood fiber for commercial use. This research also includes minimizing the impact on resource extraction, helping trees protect themselves, and restoring the forest after resource development.  I might add that industry also funds much of this research to ensure they are ahead of the curve in their business model.

Genome Canada has become a leader in genetic research, not only on human genetics, but also plant and animal genetics. One of the presenters from Genome Canada reported that the largest conference on Genome Research is held in San Diego each year and Canadian researchers makeup the majority of the presentations because of our global leading position on this research.

Your government realizes the answers to understanding the complexities of the human body, our natural surroundings, and our universe will provide solutions to help Canadians be healthier, the natural environment better protected, and support a more economically sustainable world.