Atwood’s childhood works reveals early glimmers of creativity

Compilation of juvenilia hints at the famed author’s first influences – and a characteristic sense of humour, say U of A experts

Margaret Atwood was only seven when she got her first bitter taste of literary rejection. She wrote a play called The Giant, the Gost (sic) and the Moon and staged it with paper puppets and a cardboard set. It conveyed the weighty themes of lying, crime and punishment, “as befits a future novelist,” recalls the…

Nobel Prize winner inspires researchers to ask the big questions

Michael Houghton's colleagues talk about the power of collaboration to help fight viruses that plague the world

Nobel Prize winner inspires researchers to ask the big questionsIt was a chance conversation with a colleague in chemistry that led University of Alberta virologist Maya Shmulevitz to the glow-in-the-dark eel protein, a discovery that’s advancing cancer therapy in a new way. It’s common practice for researchers to use fluorescent proteins to track how viruses behave inside a cell. But the usual proteins are too…

Alberta sees a record number of preventable syphilis infections

Alberta sees a record number of preventable syphilis infectionsA University of Alberta clinical trial will screen 1,500 people with point-of-care dual HIV and syphilis test kits in an effort to combat the syphilis outbreak in Edmonton and northern Alberta. Alberta Health Services declared the outbreak last year after 12 stillborn births and 1,753 newly diagnosed cases of syphilis, 68 per cent of them in the Edmonton area.…

Building quality of life into spaces for people with ‘invisible’ disabilities

Ensuring physical accessibility is only the beginning of creating places where people can ‘be who they are,’ says design consultant and PhD student Lara Pinchbeck

Building quality of life into spaces for people with ‘invisible’ disabilitiesWhen designing spaces for people living with disabilities, there’s more to consider than whether they’re physically accessible. A greater challenge is making sure the environments we work and live in accommodate ‘invisible’ or ‘hidden’ disabilities – a long list of conditions that range from hearing impairment to autism to anxiety disorders. Understanding the space requirements of…

Mentoring helps entrepreneurs navigate the unknowns

Guiding researchers and scientists to commercialize their intellectual property

Mentoring helps entrepreneurs navigate the unknownsA little more than 20 years ago, MIT developed a mentorship program that challenged notions about competition in the world of business. They called on local titans of business to volunteer to guide the school’s researchers and scientists in commercializing their intellectual property. Within a decade, this in-house service was drawing so much praise from schools around…

How baby’s first breath triggers life-saving changes in the brain

Discovery may help explain cases of sudden infant death syndrome

How baby’s first breath triggers life-saving changes in the brainAt the moment of birth, the essential role of delivering life-saving oxygen to the baby switches from mom and her placenta to the baby’s lungs and brain. That the timing of this happens so precisely is miraculous, but how it happens remains largely a mystery. New research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, in…

Science shatters misconceptions about Indigenous peoples

Archeologist believes unearthing evidence is the best way to change public perceptions – and public policy

Science shatters misconceptions about Indigenous peoplesMaggie Spivey-Faulkner lives to shatter misconceptions of Indigenous people with the power of science. “As an undergrad, I saw that a lot of American public policy was built on incorrect ideas of native cultures,” said the American archeologist, who joined the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts this fall after a stint as a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of…

Synthetic modelling helping solve future problems

Synthetic modelling helping solve future problemsWhen RunWithIt Synthetics set out to apply synthetic modelling to predict the impact future disruptions might have on energy grids – such as uptake in electric vehicles, greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, energy efficiency, better battery storage, cybersecurity threats, photovoltaics and even disasters – they turned to the University of Alberta. More specifically, they turned to electrical…

‘Lungs in a box’ could ease organ shortage

Donated lungs viable for up to six times longer than storing them in ice before transplant

‘Lungs in a box’ could ease organ shortageA University of Alberta-led trial has demonstrated the potential of the Ex-Vivo Organ Support System (EVOSS) device to increase life-saving opportunities for patients waiting for a lung transplant. The study, published in Nature Communications, confirmed the efficacy of the device in using negative pressure ventilation ex situ lung perfusion (NPV-ESLP) to assess and reclaim donor lungs that were…
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