How to save your summer vacation from COVID-19

Thinking differently about leisure time can help you get a family getaway despite the pandemic, say experts

How to save your summer vacation from COVID-19How do we keep COVID-19 from ruining our precious vacation time, with international borders closed to travellers, festivals cancelled, parks, camping and cottage visits limited, and even small events like garage sales forbidden? There are ways to salvage summer plans – but it means thinking differently about our leisure time, say University of Alberta experts.…

The hunt for rare, valuable yellow diamonds

Yellow diamonds with colourless cores provide insight into the origin of their pure-yellow counterparts

The hunt for rare, valuable yellow diamondsA new study by University of Alberta scientists could help guide the search for rare, high-value yellow diamonds in the Canadian North. The researchers, led by PhD student Mei Yan Lai, examined the chemical makeup of stones recovered from the Chidliak and Ekati mines in Northern Canada to get a better understanding of how they formed.…

Standard surgical masks as good as N95 for family doctors: review

Evidence reviews of masks, goggles and shoe covers suggest individual pieces of PPE aren’t enough by themselves

Standard surgical masks as good as N95 for family doctors: reviewBy Michael Brown Contributor Troy Media There’s no evidence to suggest simple surgical masks aren’t as effective as scarce N95 respirator masks in protecting health-care staff during routine primary care, according to an international research team conducting literature reviews of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the context of COVID-19. University of Alberta occupational medicine specialists Sebastian…

How physiotherapy can help people recover from COVID-19

Cardiorespiratory therapy a vital part of treatment for patients during and after illness, say U of A physiotherapists

How physiotherapy can help people recover from COVID-19A type of physiotherapy that helps people improve their breathing and oxygen uptake can be crucial for those who need critical care, say physiotherapists working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy encompasses many things, from teaching patients different types of breathing exercises, mobilization exercises and manual techniques to providing postural advice…

Replacements for banned CFCs polluting Arctic: study

Researchers find degraded, toxic compounds from CFC replacements in ice core sample from summit of Devon Ice Cap

Replacements for banned CFCs polluting Arctic: studySubstances used to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) may be as problematic as their predecessors, a new study shows. “The degradation products from these substances may be just as concerning as the original chemicals they were meant to replace,” said Alison Criscitiello, director of the University of Alberta’s Canadian Ice Core Lab. “We are seeing significant levels of…

COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season: expert

Humans account for up to 80% of Alberta’s wildfires in May but that’s likely to change this year as health measures keep people at home

COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season: expertCOVID-19 may cause a drop in spring wildfires as people are still being asked to self-isolate throughout May, Alberta's riskiest fire month, says a University of Alberta expert. “Since we’re still staying at home in May, there are fewer people recreating or working in the forests and human-caused fires will be reduced,” said wildfire scientist Mike…

Game helps people overcome fear of spiders

U of A grad student designs augmented reality game that lets users see and touch virtual spiders that get more realistic as they level up

Game helps people overcome fear of spidersA University of Alberta fine arts student has designed an augmented reality (AR) gaming platform to help arachnophobes overcome their fear of spiders. “The idea is, if I'm sitting here with an AR headset on, I can see a spider right in front of me,” said Anna Chakravorty, who submitted the project for her master’s…

Why baking is therapeutic in times of crisis

Arts and crafts provide healthy ways to deal with our disrupted daily lives, says U of A occupational therapist

Why baking is therapeutic in times of crisisBy Rob Curtis Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine University of Alberta There’s a good reason people are buying all the baking supplies in grocery stores and posting their freshly made bread, buns and desserts on social media as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, says an occupational therapist and associate professor at the University of Alberta. “Engaging…

How to manage your finances in the time of COVID-19

An accounting expert offers a wealth of advice – starting with not letting your net worth define your self-worth

How to manage your finances in the time of COVID-19People struggling to pay their debts in a crippled COVID-19 economy can’t avoid tough choices but shouldn’t let it crush them, says a University of Alberta financial expert. Feelings of fear, frustration or shame can overwhelm the clear-headed thinking needed to tackle tough times, but try not to internalize it, advised Mike Maier, an accounting…

Does wastewater give early warning of COVID-19?

University of Alberta expert helping lead national pilot project that could be critical in the battle against the coronavirus

Does wastewater give early warning of COVID-19?One of the best ways to find out whether the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is on the rise or declining in a community is to look in the sewer, say public health experts. That’s where you’ll find early telltale signs of its genetic signature. University of Alberta water expert Steve Hrudey is…