Expanding eligibility will do little to increase blood supply

The voluntary model isn't working: time to look at a better way

Expanding eligibility will do little to increase blood supplyRecently, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) made the news for allowing the donation of blood plasma from gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) in two cities. While broadening eligibility redresses an exclusionary policy, it does little to increase the supply of plasma available for Canadians who need it. Given that a…

Physicists create new model to hunt for colliding neutron stars

Speeds up search to observe collisions in first hours when scientists can learn most

Physicists create new model to hunt for colliding neutron starsUniversity of Alberta physicists have created a new, simpler way to model collisions between neutron stars. The model will enable scientists to predict the brightness of early neutron star mergers more reliably than before – allowing telescopes to gain more information from these events. “Studying the light and electromagnetic waves emitted from these collisions allows…

Historian reveals story of Canadian journalist who chronicled Holodomor

Rhea Clyman was the first western journalist to expose the forced famine that killed millions in Ukraine

Historian reveals story of Canadian journalist who chronicled HolodomorShe’s considered the first western journalist to expose the Soviet famine-genocide that killed millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s. But although Rhea Clyman sent numerous accounts of Soviet and Nazi atrocities to North American newspapers as a foreign correspondent, she was soon largely forgotten. That is, until four years ago, when Jars Balan, director…

Eight worst wildfire weather years on record happened in the last decade

Communities need to be prepared for more to come

Eight worst wildfire weather years on record happened in the last decadeThe world’s eight most extreme wildfire weather years have occurred in the last decade, according to a new study that suggests extreme fire weather is being driven by a decrease in atmospheric humidity coupled with rising temperatures. “Extreme conditions drive the world’s fire activity,” said former University of Alberta wildfire expert Michael Flannigan, who conducted…

Inuk author sends up settler stereotypes in short stories

Norma Dunning’s latest subversive collection has earned her a Governor General’s Literary Award

Inuk author sends up settler stereotypes in short storiesInuk author Norma Dunning loves to court the absurd. In one of her short stories, called “Eskimo Heaven,” an Inuit ancestral spirit visits a priest from the North. “The spirit says, ‘Come with me, we’re gonna take a walk on the wild side,’” explained Dunning, a lecturer in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education…

Promising chemotherapy treatment for bladder cancer enters human trials

A rejected patent application nearly derailed years of research, but support from experts saved the day

Promising chemotherapy treatment for bladder cancer enters human trialsIn 2015, University of Alberta cancer researcher Jack Tuszynski learned that his patent application for a promising chemotherapy treatment for people suffering from metastatic bladder cancer had been rejected by the U.S. Patent Office. “That was it. I thought, ‘We can’t proceed, we’re done, we spent almost a decade working on this and it’s a no go,’”…

Speech-language pathology grad honours her francophone roots

Emilie Lefebvre helps French-speaking youngsters overcome their speech-related challenges

Speech-language pathology grad honours her francophone rootsPlanning her career as a speech-language pathologist, Emilie Lefebvre wanted to work with bilingual adults, but a happy whirl of Francophonie Week celebrations changed her mind. The festivities by an Edmonton school board tugged at her own French-language roots while she worked there on a clinical placement to finish her University of Alberta education, and…

Brain-computer interface connect people with assistive technologies

Device would allow children with severe mobility issues to control toys or wheelchairs with their minds

Brain-computer interface connect people with assistive technologiesImagine children with severe mobility issues being able to move their wheelchairs with their minds. That’s the idea behind a new brain-computer interface being developed by researchers at the Universities of Alberta and Calgary. Think2Switch is designed to be a simple and nearly universal bridge connecting brain signals to switch-enabled devices such as a wheelchair,…

When it comes to cutting taxes, Ford is the emperor that has no clothes

It’s time for Ford to do the job he was sent to Queen’s Park to do

When it comes to cutting taxes, Ford is the emperor that has no clothesWhen Ontario Premier Doug Ford was running for office, he promised to deliver tax relief for Ontario families and businesses. “We have a very simple theory,” said Ford during the 2018 provincial election campaign. “Put money back into the taxpayers’ pocket instead of the government’s pocket, because we believe that the taxpayers are a lot…

Flawed breast screening studies may have led to death of thousands

An influential breast cancer screening trial was not randomized properly and should be withdrawn, new evidence shows

Flawed breast screening studies may have led to death of thousandsThousands of Canadian women may have died needlessly of breast cancer because of the fallout from two flawed studies on breast screening, according to a group of prominent researchers. In a commentary published in the Journal of Medical Screening, the researchers say they have new evidence that the Canadian National Breast Screening trials carried out in the 1980s were…

Smart sound system could relieve anxiety for ICU patients

Researchers are using AI to create customized soundscapes that could help patients relax and sleep

Smart sound system could relieve anxiety for ICU patientsA music professor and his interdisciplinary research team are aiming to reduce stress in intensive care patients with soothing soundscapes. Based on machine learning, the “smart” sound system would read physiological feedback such as heart rate, breathing and sweat gland response to customize calming sounds for individual patients, said principal investigator Michael Frishkopf, professor in…

The U.S. needs to reset its approach to the conflict in Ethiopia

Biden risks pushing Ethiopia onto a path of destruction that cannot be reversed

The U.S. needs to reset its approach to the conflict in EthiopiaThe Biden administration’s pressure on the Ethiopian government to find a peaceful end to the current war is justified on moral, humanitarian, and geopolitical grounds. However, the U.S.’s threats of sanctions have come and gone without any impact, signalling a lack of understanding of the Ethiopian psyche and a failure to appreciate the complexity of…

The religious fervour of the campaign against Covid-19

And is leading to the rise of a new inquisition to persecute and ostracize dissenters

The religious fervour of the campaign against Covid-19The ongoing campaign against COVID-19 has several religious attributes and analogues. I’m not talking about Mologic or Luciferase, or the way “Build Back Better” looks like code for 666, given that ‘b’ is a cipher for ‘6’. I’m not referring to the dozens of ways millenarians enthusiastically uncover apparent connections between this period of tribulation…

Master’s grad thrives on team atmosphere as scientist and athlete

Liam Buchart's work in climate modelling was what really showed him the power of teamwork

Master’s grad thrives on team atmosphere as scientist and athleteLiam Buchart has always been a team player. He didn’t let academic pursuits get in the way of playing junior B hockey in the Capital Junior Hockey League while stickhandling through his first three years in the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta. Even after junior, when he joined the U of A’s…

Fossil thought to be missing link between lizards, snakes debunked

The ‘snake with four legs’ is instead a long-bodied marine lizard

Fossil thought to be missing link between lizards, snakes debunkedFilling in the links of the evolutionary chain with a fossil record of a “snake with four legs” connecting lizards and early snakes would be a dream come true for paleontologists. But a specimen formerly thought to fit the bill is not the missing piece of the puzzle, according to a new study led by…
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