Installing insulation can be hazardous to your health

Use of less hazardous materials, personal protective equipment and regular health checkups recommended

Installing insulation can be hazardous to your healthConstruction workers who work with hazardous insulation materials are much more likely to be affected by repeated chest infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The study followed 990 insulators over six years. Participants underwent regular pulmonary function tests and chest radiography…

New battery research could help power the future

Redox flow battery technology has promising applications for storing energy from renewable sources

New battery research could help power the futureUniversity of Alberta chemists are making new strides in research on a type of battery that could help power the future. “Environmentally friendly renewable energy sources such as solar and wind provide a significant opportunity to alleviate the energy crisis and dramatically reduce carbon emissions,” said Hao Wang, chemistry PhD student in the Faculty of Science.…

Stem cell study identifies enzyme with potential for cancer treatment

Research on how stem cells develop and differentiate in fruit flies has implications for human health

Stem cell study identifies enzyme with potential for cancer treatmentScientists have found a new mechanism responsible for regulating stem cells in fruit flies, with possible implications for cancer therapies. The study, published by University of Alberta biologists, identifies an inhibition mechanism of an enzyme called Myt1 kinase, which manages how stem cells develop and differentiate during organ development in fruit flies. “In addition to…

COVID-19 vaccines will work if Canadians play their part

COVID-19 vaccines will work if Canadians play their partDespite the many logistical questions that remain, University of Alberta virologists insist the multiple vaccine candidates that have emerged will work if Canadians can do their part by staying healthy until the spring. “More than ever, people should be very careful that they don’t get this disease, because we have a light at the end…

Tap water in an ultrasonic humidifier may pollute your air

New research shows ultrasonic humidifiers release significant concentrations of particulate matter

Tap water in an ultrasonic humidifier may pollute your airAs many Canadians prepare for the cold, dry winter months ahead, many of them will be using ultrasonic or cool-mist humidifiers in their homes. But using anything other than distilled water may be polluting the air in your home, according to new research by University of Alberta chemists. “Our study showed that operating an ultrasonic…

Diamond expertise unearths discoveries, economic opportunities

Researchers and employers are teaming up to train the next generation of diamond explorers

Diamond expertise unearths discoveries, economic opportunitiesThe interesting facet in searching for diamonds, according to University of Alberta expert Graham Pearson, is you don’t actually look for diamonds, you look for indicator materials that suggest they might be present. The same could be said for how mineral exploration and mining companies use the U of A to top up their workforce.…

Schitt’s Creek star spikes enrolment in U of A online Indigenous course

Tens of thousands of new students from nearly every country in the world have joined Dan Levy in relearning history from Indigenous perspectives

Schitt’s Creek star spikes enrolment in U of A online Indigenous courseSince its launch in 2017, the massive open online course Indigenous Canada has been among the most popular MOOCs in Canada. But in 2020, its popularity skyrocketed. “It all started in March with COVID,” said course instructor Paul Gareau. “Normally around 300 new students register each week, but in March we started getting around 1,000. Then, when…

Changing the way we think about weight and health

Changing the way we think about weight and healthMaxine Myre’s genesis as a researcher began with an investigation into the inflammatory responses of, among other things, fat cells. And although fat plays as important a role in the healthy function of people as any other component, the negative relationship we’ve developed between weight and health triggered a fascination within Myre. “I’m a fairly…

Online learners falling behind in their reading skills

Especially if they already struggled with reading before COVID-19

Online learners falling behind in their reading skillsLast spring’s COVID-19 school closures put young, struggling readers further behind in their skills – and the situation won’t get better unless there are changes to online and at-home instruction, suggests a University of Alberta reading expert. A comparison of reading ability scores among students in Grades 1 to 3 in a sampling of Alberta…

Virtual tools help surgeons correct skull defects in babies

Virtual tools help surgeons correct skull defects in babiesRepairing a baby’s abnormal skull is a delicate balance between art and science that has to be decided before the first cut is ever made in corrective surgery. Now skilled surgeons have more tools to work with before gowning and gloving up, thanks to Émilie Robertson’s research. Robertson, a medical resident in plastic surgery who…

Graduation opens new chapter for Cree poet and Rhodes scholar

Billy-Ray Belcourt earns PhD while winning acclaim for his accounts of life as a gay Indigenous person in Western Canada

Graduation opens new chapter for Cree poet and Rhodes scholarSuccess was running Billy-Ray Belcourt ragged in the months before COVID-19. The Indigenous poet, scholar and national literary sensation was constantly on the road, attending literary festivals and making other appearances related to his two hit volumes of poetry – all while wrapping up a doctorate and adapting to his new role as professor of…

Driving change for women displaced by terrorism in Nigeria

Driving change for women displaced by terrorism in NigeriaNewly graduated nursing PhD Oluwakemi Amodu is building on the work she did during her doctoral program at the University of Alberta to make life better for 250 women in a refugee camp in northern Nigeria. Amodu won a $75,000 post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Waterloo for a project to bring education and treatment for sexually…

Diabetes research closer than ever to possible cure

As close to a cure for diabetes as we’re ever going to see

Diabetes research closer than ever to possible cureAs the world prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin next year, researchers at the University of Alberta are hard at work on what they hope will become the next big diabetes breakthrough. The project is led by James Shapiro, professor of surgery in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and Canada Research…

Headband may help diagnosis of stroke patients

New wearable tech by U of A scientists could help improve the speed and accuracy of stroke diagnosis

Headband may help diagnosis of stroke patientsA new technology developed by University of Alberta neuroscientists is the first step in developing a low-cost, portable method to improve the diagnosis and detection of stroke – before patients arrive at the hospital. “We used a portable headband with embedded EEG sensors, a gyroscope and an accelerometer to see if this can help improve…

Recreational sport helps people cope with adversity, study shows

Social support in rec leagues builds confidence and offers a reprieve from negative emotions, researcher finds

Recreational sport helps people cope with adversity, study showsBesides the physical fitness and social benefits of sport, recreational athletes use their sport participation as a way to cope with adverse life events, according to a University of Alberta study. The study could help adult sport associations better market and reshape their leagues to combat shrinking participation rates. “It’s not surprising that these recreational…
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