Voting Begins for Game-Changing Discoveries

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Five University of Guelph discoveries that are being recognized as life-changing breakthroughs need your vote.

Ontario universities and researchers want the public to decide which inventions and discoveries over the past 100 years in this province have been the most “game-changing.”

There’s a list of 50 breakthroughs to choose from – and vote upon – in an online contest organized through the Council of Ontario Universities’ Research Matters campaign.

Five of the discoveries are from U of G. A full list is available online.

Voting will continue all summer at fairs and public events as the 50 game-changers go on the road with the Research Matters’ Curiosity Shop. The public’s top five favourites will be announced in the fall, and contest participants will be eligible for a draw.

Launched on April 1, the contest is aimed at broadening Ontarians’ knowledge and appreciation of great things done in the province.

The five U of G innovations are as follows:

Revealing Identities: Prof. Daniel Fischlin, English and Theatre Studies, suggests that a 400-year-old painting portrays William Shakespeare, which would make this the only known portrait painted during the Bard’s lifetime.

Improving Health: Prof. Bruce Holub, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, discovers trans fats harm human health, resulting in their virtual elimination from supermarket shelves.

Creating New Vaccines: Pathobiology professors Pat Shewen and Bruce Wilkie develop a vaccine against “shipping fever” pneumonia in cattle, which becomes the foundation for all vaccines against this major disease.

Digitizing DNA: Paul Hebert, Integrative Biology, proposes DNA barcoding for species identification, with applications from protecting global biodiversity to curbing food fraud.

Reinventing the Potato: Gary Johnston, Plant Agriculture, creates the Yukon Gold potato to grow in challenging climates, and its taste and popularity make it a household name.

John Livernois, interim vice-president (research) said these discoveries show U of G’s wide-ranging research strengths. “We hope people in Guelph, and throughout Ontario, will participate in this contest, and we especially hope they will recognize the innovations from our researchers.”