New texting services support first responders’ mental health

Daily positive messages are designed to help emergency personnel cope with trauma of the job, similar to successful Text4Hope

New texting services support first responders’ mental healthTwo free text messaging services have been launched to support the mental health of Alberta’s first responders. Text4PTSI and Text4Well-being are designed to help emergency personnel cope positively with feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, disturbed sleep and suicidal thoughts, said project lead Vincent Agyapong, clinical professor of psychiatry and global mental health in the University of Alberta Faculty…

Research project explores new way to boost canola production

Latest technology will test how well different breeds convert the power of the sun, offering hope of better yields for farmers

Research project explores new way to boost canola productionA University of Alberta researcher is working to capture the power of sunshine to boost canola yield for western Canadian farmers. Over the next three years, plant scientist Linda Gorim of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES) will assess up to 300 breeding lines of canola from around the world to find out which are…

Professors promote science as a tool for Indigenous governance

Kim TallBear and Jessica Kolopenuk are addressing increasing demands for Indigenous governance in STEM

Professors promote science as a tool for Indigenous governanceIt’s a common misconception, Dr. Kim TallBear says, that while Indigenous peoples have culture and tradition, white people own science and technology. As TallBear mentions in a video trailer for one of the Faculty of Native Studies’ newest online courses, this myth doesn’t only undermine the myriad ways Indigenous peoples have produced science, technology and knowledge systems throughout history…

Coal mining waste material more than 90% effective at removing heavy metal

Nano humus works like a sponge that attaches to and holds cadmium, a common byproduct of mining

Coal mining waste material more than 90% effective at removing heavy metalA low-value byproduct of the coal mining process is proving highly effective at helping reclaim the land and water used in mining, University of Alberta research shows. Nano humus, a substance extracted from coal mine deposits and then crushed to a black, powdery material, has “outstanding physical and chemical properties” that remove heavy metals from…

Digital tech experts work to bring internet to rural and remote communities

Coalition they helped create will advocate, share ideas and shape policy aimed at improving access to broadband

Digital tech experts work to bring internet to rural and remote communitiesTwo University of Alberta professors are working to improve internet services for Albertans living in rural and remote communities as members of a new coalition. The Alberta Rural Connectivity Coalition (ARCC), which U of A digital technology experts Rob McMahon and Michael McNally helped found last fall, is working with steering committee members to bring together Alberta communities to explore ways…

Firefighters who fought Fort McMurray wildfire suffer persistent lung damage

With the risk of asthma more than doubling

Firefighters who fought Fort McMurray wildfire suffer persistent lung damageFirefighters at the centre of the battle against the massive Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016 have persistent lung damage, according to new findings published by a University of Alberta occupational health research team. “Those who were dealing with burning organic matter were exposed to a barrage of small particles in the smoke, and the ones with the…

U of A research, expertise help boost diamond exploration, says geologist

University's analytical facilities and expertise are second to none, as are its collaborative ties with industry

U of A research, expertise help boost diamond exploration, says geologistIn the early 2000s, one of the large islands that make up the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Banks Island, was buzzing as teams from the world’s top diamond companies trudged around the barren tundra looking for evidence of diamonds. One organization encountered a big enough hint of what might lie below that they had equipment on…

Biophysicists target mechanism that makes Zika virus so dangerous

Paves the way for potential new drugs for viruses including dengue, yellow fever and West Nile

Biophysicists target mechanism that makes Zika virus so dangerousA new study by University of Alberta biophysicists has revealed how a rare structure forms within RNA from the Zika virus that makes it resistant to our bodies’ immune systems. The results provide a potential target for new drug therapies to combat the virus and others like it. “Due to the structure formed within the…

Nursing researcher fights ageism with education

Training modules, advisory group designed to help nurses, caregivers and others overcome biases against older people

Nursing researcher fights ageism with educationA University of Alberta researcher is hoping to start a Canada-wide revolution to combat discrimination against older people, starting with a change to the way nursing students are educated. “Ageism has been described by other scholars as the last “ism” that is socially accepted,” said Sherry Dahlke, associate professor in the Faculty of Nursing. “It’s subtle and…

Study finds link between gut bacteria and enhanced cognition in infant boys

Could potentially identify children at risk of neurodevelopmental disorders

Study finds link between gut bacteria and enhanced cognition in infant boysInfant boys with a higher composition of a particular gut microbiota show enhanced neurodevelopment, according to a new study. The University of Alberta-led research followed more than 400 infants from the CHILD Cohort Study (CHILD) at its Edmonton site. Boys with a gut bacterial composition that was high in the bacteria Bacteroidetes at one year of age…

Hepatitis C vaccine could be available within five years

Has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year

Hepatitis C vaccine could be available within five yearsA vaccine to protect against hepatitis C virus (HCV) could be in use within five years, according to University of Alberta Nobel laureate Michael Houghton, who made the announcement during a special presentation at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases held in Vienna, Austria, over the weekend. “While the advent of directly…

Equipping young people to better manage their financial futures

Most Canadians live beyond their means

Equipping young people to better manage their financial futuresMost Canadians are living beyond their means, with a debt-to-income ratio of 181 per cent. More than half are within $200 of not being able to cover their bills and loan payments. These kinds of statistics make Faculty of Education professor Damien Cormier uneasy and prompted him to launch a research project to boost financial literacy in young…

Why some people overestimate their abilities while others underestimate

Most people tend to predict that others will do better than they will on difficult tasks

Why some people overestimate their abilities while others underestimateA lack of confidence in our abilities on a given task or activity seems to stem from overestimating the abilities of others, according to a University of Alberta study. The finding could offer leaders insights into how to counter self-doubt in the face of a difficult task. Previous research has shown that most people tend to…

How do zebra finches learn to build their nests?

By observing the building techniques of other birds

How do zebra finches learn to build their nests?Like archeologists learning how past humans built their homes, birds can learn construction techniques by observing unoccupied nests, according to a new study. University of Alberta scientists found that zebra finches learn about nest building by observing an empty nest – but only if they first learn what a nest is. “We gave half our…

Fecal transplant plus fibre supplements improve insulin sensitivity

Research provides further evidence the microbiome can benefit patients’ health

Fecal transplant plus fibre supplements improve insulin sensitivityA transplant of healthy gut microbes followed by fibre supplements benefits patients with severe obesity and metabolic syndrome, according to clinical trial findings published in Nature Medicine. Patients who were given a single-dose oral fecal microbial transplant followed by a daily fibre supplement were found to have better insulin sensitivity and higher levels of beneficial…
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