Little evidence vitamin D prevents severe COVID-19

Getting too much vitamin D can also cause health problems, says U of A pediatric kidney specialist

Little evidence vitamin D prevents severe COVID-19At the beginning of May, a pair of studies emerged suggesting people who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to experience serious health complications if infected with COVID-19. Sales of the micronutrient soared as a scared public tried to gain any advantage they could over the virus. Unfortunately, University of Alberta pediatrics professor Todd…

Protein causes mutations that lead to breast cancer cell aggression

U of A researcher uncovers new mechanism for why a particular biomarker is linked with poor outcomes in certain patients

Protein causes mutations that lead to breast cancer cell aggressionLike most scientists, University of Alberta biochemist Ing Swie Goping is curious. When her team discovered that a protein was associated with poor outcomes in breast cancer patients, she wanted to know why. Now, that curiosity has led to the discovery of a new mechanism for how certain breast cancers develop, which could one day…

What you need to know about cancer

Cancer isn’t one disease with one cure, but researchers have made significant progress in understanding and treating it

What you need to know about cancerNearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes, according to the Canadian Cancer Society, and all of us will likely be affected by it. But what do we really know about the disease? Cancer is not one disease with one solution, said David Eisenstat, department chair and professor in…

Discovery of HIV infection mechanism could hold key to COVID-19

New understanding leads U of A researchers to try a new class of drugs against SARS-CoV-2 and HIV

Discovery of HIV infection mechanism could hold key to COVID-19A newly discovered mechanism at work in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients may also lead to new treatments for COVID-19, according to a team of researchers at the University of Alberta. The recently published paper in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology, mBio, reveals how HIV attacks peroxisomes, organelles found in all cells that help…

More than 100 toxic chemicals found in cannabis smoke

Typical joint contains nearly 2,600 chemicals, including some linked with cancer, genetic mutation and birth defects: U of A study

More than 100 toxic chemicals found in cannabis smokeUniversity of Alberta engineering researchers have characterized the potentially hazardous particles in cannabis smoke and have raised awareness about their potential health effects. “It's not out of line to say there's potential health risk in marijuana smoke, and there's not nearly enough research,” said Robert Nishida, a U of A post-doctoral fellow and co-lead on…

Video series aims to improve cancer screening in North

U of A researchers work with community members to produce culturally appropriate information

Video series aims to improve cancer screening in NorthA series of new videos co-created by University of Alberta researchers and communities in the Northwest Territories are striving to improve the use of cancer screening in the region. The series of 11 videos includes two that offer general information about cancer risks and prevention from a recognized physician in the community. The remaining nine are split…

Use science, not speculation, to save seniors and businesses

Locking down society, and business, makes no sense in the battle against COVID-19. It's time to take a more measured approach

Use science, not speculation, to save seniors and businessesChris Hadfield has posted a video on YouTube entitled An Astronaut’s Guide to Self Isolation, in which he offers some valuable advice. The Canadian pilot and astronaut spent 166 days in the International Space Station in isolation. He says it’s an extremely dangerous environment where astronauts thrive in finding ways to be productive. The number…

Broadening health care’s perspective on pain

We don’t take pain into account when assessing where to invest health sector research and delivery dollars. That needs to change

Broadening health care’s perspective on painPain is a difficult topic for Canada’s health care sector. It can arise from many diseases, but not always. For example, arthritis in a joint can be visible on X-rays and not cause any pain; but it can also be so painful as to completely disable an individual.  Pain is subjective, so sufferers can be…

When a caregiver becomes a care receiver

Lesson learned: We need to apply child-friendly practices to adult care because when you are ill or injured, you feel like a child again

When a caregiver becomes a care receiverPaid or unpaid, caregivers are never supposed to get sick, right? But sometimes they do. Sue Robins owns a health-care communications company and is the mother of a young man with Down syndrome. Robins used to blog about caring for her son and his encounters with the health-care system. But that all changed the day she received…

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life

Mike Sloan’s positive, upbeat tone and zest for life in the face of adversity has truly been inspiring

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life“Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it,” Haruki Murakami wrote in his acclaimed novel Norwegian Wood. “By living our lives, we nurture death.” This is rational. Nevertheless, death isn’t something we enjoy spending every waking moment thinking about. That’s especially true when we’re still at the point in our…