New evidence shows cancer is not as heritable as once thought

Recent review highlights need to gain a broader scientific view of cancer to better prevent and treat it

New evidence shows cancer is not as heritable as once thoughtWhile cancer is a genetic disease, the genetic component is just one piece of the puzzle – and researchers need to consider environmental and metabolic factors as well, according to a research review by a leading expert at the University of Alberta. Nearly all the theories about the causes of cancer that have emerged over the…

Study reveals why HIV remains in human tissue even after therapy

Discovery could open door to new treatments that improve our ability to eliminate the stubborn virus

Study reveals why HIV remains in human tissue even after therapyThanks to antiretroviral therapy, HIV infection is no longer the life sentence it once was. But despite the effectiveness of drugs to manage and treat the virus, it can never be fully eliminated from the human body, lingering in some cells deep in different human tissues where it goes unnoticed by the immune system. Now, new…

Oldest human DNA ever found in Africa uncovered.

Archeological detective work reveals a rare find

Oldest human DNA ever found in Africa uncovered.A University of Alberta anthropologist has uncovered the oldest human DNA yet found in Africa, shedding new light on a period of ancient human history about which little is known. Banting post-doctoral fellow and bioarcheologist Elizabeth Sawchuk found skeletal remains of a middle-aged woman on her first dig in Africa 12 years ago as a…

How antibodies are fine-tuned to fight infection

Discovery provides insight into improving vaccines, understanding cancer

How antibodies are fine-tuned to fight infectionResearchers have uncovered new information about a cellular mechanism in the immune system that provides a critical step toward a better understanding of how antibodies evolve and improve in the human body. The antibodies our immune system produces need fine-tuning to reach maximum effectiveness. When a vaccine or pathogen is first introduced into our bodies,…

New treatment could benefit patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Treatment acts like a Band-Aid for mutations, allowing the body to rebuild muscle tissue

New treatment could benefit patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophyUp to 45 per cent of patients with the most common inherited neuromuscular disease could benefit from a new “cocktail” drug being developed at the University of Alberta, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The drug could provide an effective and economical treatment to lessen symptoms for the six of…

Why do more females than males get knee osteoarthritis?

Hormones alone are not enough to explain the difference

Why do more females than males get knee osteoarthritis?Female astronauts could avoid knee injuries during space flight – and better tests, prevention and treatments could be developed for knee osteoarthritis in women on Earth – based on newly published research on the sex differences in knee meniscus tissue. Knee osteoarthritis is more common in females than in males, but hormones alone are not…

Ostrich eggshell beads reveal oldest known social network

Artifacts dating back 50,000 years help us better understand human connections

Ostrich eggshell beads reveal oldest known social networkIt’s one of the most enduring craft traditions in human history, stretching back 50,000 years: tiny donut-shaped beads made from ostrich eggshells. They reveal the oldest social network ever identified, according to a study by Jennifer Miller. The beads probably originated in eastern Africa and spread west and south through the continent as people traded them…

Manufacturing human organs … with farm animals

Every year, 200 to 250 Canadians die while waiting for an organ transplant

Manufacturing human organs … with farm animalsIn an unprecedented surgery, a 57-year-old American with serious heart disease had a heart transplant with a genetically-modified pig’s heart on Jan. 7. Almost two weeks later, the patient is reportedly still doing well. This surgery was a first, performed by a team from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It’s among the first…

Five facts all parents should know about the mRNA vaccines

There needs to be caution about any coercion that could harm our children

Five facts all parents should know about the mRNA vaccinesThe Canadian Academics for Covid Ethics (CA4CE) is a group of researchers and scholars from fields spanning the natural and social sciences and humanities. It is concerned with the mismanagement of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response in Canada and around the world.  The following commentary was written by Alexander Andrée, PhD, Valentina Capurri, PhD, Claudia…

Guidelines help prevent unnecessary destruction of ancient remains

Human remains are considered sacred by many around the world and deserve respect and protection

Guidelines help prevent unnecessary destruction of ancient remainsWhen Elizabeth Sawchuk started getting involved in ancient DNA research as part of her archeological research in Africa, she turned to colleagues for advice on sampling DNA from ancient human remains. As a post-doctoral fellow at Stony Brook University, she felt it was crucial to get it right. “They’re extremely precious,” said Sawchuk, now a Banting post-doctoral…
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