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Du quinoa vieux de 3000 ans retrouvé en Ontario

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Daniel Blanchette-Pelletier

Les 140 000 graines ont été retrouvées par des archéologues en 2010, alors qu’ils évaluaient un nouveau lotissement à Brantford, en Ontario. Ils ont retrouvé l’amas de graines brûlées dans une fosse située à proximité du site.

Ce type de quinoa n’avait jamais été retrouvé auparavant dans la province.

Sa présence, il y a 3000 ans, devance également de plusieurs siècles la preuve la plus ancienne d’une récolte en Ontario, soit une récolte de maïs environ 500 ans apr. J.-C., note Gary Crawford, du département d’anthropologie de l’Université de Toronto.

L’étude, publiée dans la revue American Antiquity, suggère cependant que le quinoa n’aurait pas été cultivé dans la province.

« Toutes les recherches précédentes sur cette espèce de quinoa, qui est maintenant éteint, a pris place dans le centre des États-Unis », confirme l’anthropologue.

Le quinoa, aujourd’hui considéré comme un superaliment, prenait une place importance dans le régime alimentaire des peuples du Kentucky, de l’Illinois et de l’Arkansas. Sa valeur nutritive était probablement similaire à celle du quinoa moderne, qui vient d’Amérique du Sud.

Un réseau commercial bien établi

Cette découverte fortuite prend une tournure historique significative, puisqu’elle suggère que le système commercial entre les peuples autochtones américains était peut-être plus développé que précédemment imaginé.

Cela nous montre que, parfois, ce qui semble être un site relativement insignifiant peut contenir quelque chose d’incroyablement important.

Gary Crawford, Université de Toronto

À ce jour, toutes les preuves indiquaient que les populations autochtones échangeaient uniquement des pierres et d’autres minéraux sur de longues distances. La découverte de graines de quinoa semble prouver le contraire, selon Gary Crawford.

On ne comprend pas vraiment comment les peuples autochtones commerçaient à cette époque. Mais il est entendu qu’ils avaient un « réseau commercial étendu », suggère à son tour la directrice du musée du Woodland Cultural Centre, à Brantford, Paula Whitlow.

Les auteurs de l’étude ont également émis l’hypothèse que les graines avaient été brûlées par erreur, éventuellement dans une tentative trop zélée de les assécher légèrement pour les entreposer.

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

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