The horror! U.S. pandemic response far better than Canada’s

A serious blow to our delusion we are better than Americans

The horror! U.S. pandemic response far better than Canada’sWhen it comes to health care, Canadians only seem to care about one thing: Are we better than the United States? As long as we “beat” the U.S., we remain smug about our performance, although this attitude can be hard to square with the tens of thousands of Canadians who get quick access to top-level…

Religious freedom equals educational freedom

The claim that merging Ontario’s government-run and Catholic school systems will save “an estimated $1.6 billion a year” is blarney

Religious freedom equals educational freedomIn terms of cultural insensitivity, the latest call for ending Ontario’s Catholic school funding wins the shamrock, coming, as it did, on St. Patrick’s Day. But if we overlook that faux pas, we still have to consider the pot of gold that would be saved by absorbing Catholic schools into the government-run system. Or do…

Project to create jet fuel from biowaste gets federal funding boost

Innovative research could provide a supply of renewable fuel

Project to create jet fuel from biowaste gets federal funding boostA potentially huge industrial project to create jet fuel from biowaste has received a $2.89-million funding boost from Natural Resources Canada. The investment, which includes $1.99 million in direct funding and $900,000 in in-kind contributions, will go toward setting up an advanced fuel-testing suite in lead researcher David Bressler’s lab and will also support the work of several…

Protein that blocks body’s ability to clear bad cholesterol identified

Researchers are now looking to develop a drug that will boost existing statin drugs to prevent heart disease

Protein that blocks body’s ability to clear bad cholesterol identifiedA team of researchers at the University of Alberta has uncovered a long-sought link in the battle to control cholesterol and heart disease. The protein that interferes with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors that clear ‘bad’ cholesterol from the blood was identified in findings recently published in Nature Communications by Dawei Zhang, associate professor of pediatrics in the Faculty…

Alberta not-for-profit runs cancer clinical trials around the world

Building on game-changing breast cancer trials, TRIO now testing drugs for breast, lung, ovarian, liver and gastrointestinal cancer

Alberta not-for-profit runs cancer clinical trials around the worldA not-for-profit research group with University of Alberta roots is quietly taking its place in the major leagues of global cancer drug testing. When promising new cancer treatments are ready for trial in humans, researchers from around the world turn to Edmonton-based TRIO (Translational Research in Oncology) to run their clinical trials. “It may seem like…

Edmonton startup in race to develop lab-grown meat

Industry poised for rapid growth

Edmonton startup in race to develop lab-grown meatA fast-growing Edmonton startup company that’s a new player in the cellular agriculture sector recently received US$2.2 million from three U.S. venture capital firms and a number of private investors. Future Fields, which was incorporated in 2018, was founded by two University of Alberta graduates and a former U of A employee. All but two…

AI-based tool can detect bipolar disorder at earlier stages

New machine learning model spots subtle early signs, making it possible for psychiatrists to treat people sooner before symptoms get worse

AI-based tool can detect bipolar disorder at earlier stagesMany people with early-stage or first-episode bipolar disorder have cognitive deficits, such as issues with visual processing and spatial memory, but those deficits are often so subtle that the disorder can go undiagnosed for years. That could change thanks to researchers who have created a machine learning model that helps identify these subtle deficits with…

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovation

Uses range from reclaiming wastewater to capturing carbon and decontaminating soil

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovationIt looks like the throwaway scrapings from a barbecue grill, but biochar is fanning the flames of discovery as University of Alberta researchers explore the product’s environmental benefits. The blackened byproduct – created from waste like cow manure, wheat and canola straw, and sawdust produced in Alberta – has many uses that help the environment…

‘Car choir’ puts an inventive spin on live concerts during pandemic

U of A choral director conducts live performances in a parking lot, with singers performing from the safety of their cars

In a year when in-person concerts have been next to impossible, U of A choral director Tim Shantz has found a way for the university’s Madrigal Singers to perform live before an audience. And it doesn’t involve Zoom. Gathered in a parking lot, the members of his choir sing into microphones from their cars – all safely contained in…

Mining sector needs to get in on the hunt for strategic minerals

Local access is crucial if we are to ensure the long-term viability of our technology sector

Mining sector needs to get in on the hunt for strategic mineralsThe Canadian mining sector has been a vital cog in the country’s economy during the pandemic, with the importance of the industry growing steadily over time. Operations and exploration continued during the COVID-19 outbreak, collaborations with Indigenous communities expanded, technological sophistication accelerated, and, at a time when environmental assessment processes deter investment in Canada, international…