Twenty stories that defined the University of Alberta in 2020

In a year of unprecedented challenges, the people of the U of A gave us plenty of reasons to expect a brighter future

Twenty stories that defined the University of Alberta in 2020Let’s be honest: 2020 has been a tough year. Amid a global pandemic whose rising tide continues to take an enormous human and economic toll every day, it’s been hard to hold out hope for whatever the “new normal” might look like once COVID-19 finally ebbs for good. But through everything – including academic and…

Synthetic meat is the new frontier of food

If livestock farmers were threatened by the plant-based revolution, they haven’t seen anything yet

Synthetic meat is the new frontier of foodFor thousands of years, humans have had to kill animals to eat meat. This is no longer the case – at least in Singapore. Cultured meat is now legal in the city-state. The Singapore Food Agency has approved chicken nuggets from a San Francisco-based company called Eat Just, which is known for its cultured meat.…

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…

New battery research could help power the future

Redox flow battery technology has promising applications for storing energy from renewable sources

New battery research could help power the futureUniversity of Alberta chemists are making new strides in research on a type of battery that could help power the future. “Environmentally friendly renewable energy sources such as solar and wind provide a significant opportunity to alleviate the energy crisis and dramatically reduce carbon emissions,” said Hao Wang, chemistry PhD student in the Faculty of Science.…

Eliminating humans from the food supply chain

Loblaws will be able to move food from automated picking facilities multiple times a day to support its online grocery service

Eliminating humans from the food supply chainLoblaws is partnering with Gatik, an autonomous vehicle provider from the United States, to launch the first autonomous food delivery fleet. This is a solution to the ‘middle mile,’ assuring links between distribution centres and stores. Consumers won’t see autonomous vehicles drive up to their homes yet but that day will surely come soon. These…

The misguided mission to cut Canada’s cellphone rates

Price controls undermine investment, remove incentive for innovation and backfire for consumers

The misguided mission to cut Canada’s cellphone ratesThere’s a pervasive belief in Canada that wireless phone service prices are a ripoff. To suggest otherwise is heresy. Countless commentaries provide fodder for this belief, and every few years a politician takes on the purported problem. In the mid-2010s, for example, Industry Minister James Moore supported the entry of Verizon, although the U.S.-based prospective…

Headband may help diagnosis of stroke patients

New wearable tech by U of A scientists could help improve the speed and accuracy of stroke diagnosis

Headband may help diagnosis of stroke patientsA new technology developed by University of Alberta neuroscientists is the first step in developing a low-cost, portable method to improve the diagnosis and detection of stroke – before patients arrive at the hospital. “We used a portable headband with embedded EEG sensors, a gyroscope and an accelerometer to see if this can help improve…

New legislation will end 25 years of CRTC net neutrality

New powers will crush consumer freedom, tax and regulate content on the internet, stifle investment, and increase the cost of streaming subscriptions

New legislation will end 25 years of CRTC net neutralityA federal government that only a few years ago spoke brightly about innovation and embracing the 21st century has sadly lost its way. That was made apparent this week when – smuggled in on U.S. election day when it would get the least attention possible – Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault unveiled legislation giving the Canadian…
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