100-million-year-old crab trapped in amber helps fill evolutionary gap

Oldest non-marine crab ever – and most complete crab fossil known – identified

100-million-year-old crab trapped in amber helps fill evolutionary gapA young crustacean locked in amber 100 million years ago is filling a crucial gap in the puzzle of crab evolution, according to a University of Alberta PhD graduate whose work adds to growing evidence that the crab form is an evolutionary darling. “This crab is telling us a very interesting story about the tree…

Mentorship key to breakthrough science in women and children’s health

Placenta in a petri dish is just one innovation that attracts top students and research dollars

Mentorship key to breakthrough science in women and children’s healthJasmine Nguyen signed up for a tour of Meghan Riddell’s cell biology lab as a first-year undergrad in the Faculty of Science and was immediately hooked. “Meghan pulled a placenta out of what was basically a lasagna dish and it was love at first sight,” said Nguyen, who’s now working on her fourth-year honours thesis…

Researcher aims to buy more time for dairy calves to absorb vital antibodies

Immunity problem affects nearly a third of calves worldwide

Researcher aims to buy more time for dairy calves to absorb vital antibodiesA University of Alberta dairy researcher is picking up where scientists left off 40 years ago, trying to solve an ongoing problem with calf health. Up to 30 per cent of dairy calves worldwide don’t get enough vital antibodies before birth to ward off the risk of diarrhea caused by E. coli and other bacteria.…

Sex matters when it comes to your susceptibility to infections

Anemia generates different immune responses in men and women

Sex matters when it comes to your susceptibility to infectionsA University of Alberta-led study shows that when it comes to susceptibility to infections and other health conditions, sex matters. The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, was led by U of A immunologist Shokrollah Elahi. Elahi and his team looked at how anemia – a condition in which a person lacks enough mature red…

Fungi fundamentals: the truth about mushrooms

Fungi have great names – turkey tail, pigskin poison, honey mushroom – and come in all shapes and sizes

Fungi fundamentals: the truth about mushroomsMy local nature club recently hosted a mushroom walk. No, that’s not where you take your pet mushroom for a walk. We visited some trails in central Ontario looking for different types of mushrooms, poisonous and edible. We weren’t foraging so we left the woods as we found them, although many others go to local…

Killer T cells could ignite immune response against cancer: study

Research brings cancer-killing cells to bear against a certain type of colorectal cancer tumour

Killer T cells could ignite immune response against cancer: studyA University of Alberta researcher has discovered how two signalling molecules recruit immune cells known as killer T cells to a specific type of colon cancer with more favourable patient outcomes. The finding may represent a therapeutic strategy to target other types of cancers. Kristi Baker, assistant professor in the Department of Oncology, examined tumours…

New device may improve life for people who have breathing challenges

Developers working to get it to market

New device may improve life for people who have breathing challengesA University of Alberta engineering duo is getting a boost from the university’s newly formed commercialization engine, imYEG, to get a new device for people with breathing challenges to market. Medical devices that assist people who have a low level of oxygen in their blood have evolved from large stationary tanks of compressed oxygen to…

Lakes in Canadian Rockies losing turquoise lustre as glaciers fade

Changing colour of alpine lakes may be a sign of worsening water quality, according to reports

Lakes in Canadian Rockies losing turquoise lustre as glaciers fadeAnother casualty of the disappearance of glaciers in the Canadian Rockies is the vanishing of the iconic turquoise of glacier-fed alpine lakes, according to a University of Alberta limnologist who documented the unfortunate change in the latest look at the health of Canada’s mountains. In an essay written for the fourth annual State of the Mountains…

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heat

New materials could harness energy from cellphones or body heat, and improve solar power, geothermal

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heatExtra heat is generated from any form of energy conversion – even with something as green as solar panels. But with up to 72 per cent of it left unused, there’s also great potential to harvest electricity from that waste. A University of Alberta researcher has successfully developed a way to figure out the chemistry…

Brain molecule helps ‘wake up’ cells that could help tackle MS: study

Fractalkine molecule showing promise for treating certain neurodegenerative disorders

Brain molecule helps ‘wake up’ cells that could help tackle MS: studyAn immunological molecule called fractalkine can boost the production of brain cells that produce myelin, a key factor in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, according to recent research from the University of Alberta. Myelin is an insulating layer around nerves that is gradually worn away by inflammation in multiple sclerosis and similar diseases. Without this…

Space designers take flight to test bioengineered knee cartilage in low gravity

Device built by U of A team could help researchers learn how osteoarthritis develops

Space designers take flight to test bioengineered knee cartilage in low gravityMembers of a University of Alberta student club are walking on air after testing samples of bioengineered knee cartilage in a reduced-gravity experiment competition. Amira Aissiou and Kirtan Dhunnoo of the University of Alberta Space Design Group strapped themselves in and went for a wild ride in the Canadian Space Agency’s Falcon 20 parabolic aircraft to get a…

Exploring bee behaviour opens new career possibilities

Tianna Tanasichuk's internship was a chance to gain experience – not learn about herself

Exploring bee behaviour opens new career possibilitiesWorking in the sunshine, surrounded by the soft hum of a dozen beehives this summer, Tianna Tanasichuk couldn’t help thinking of her recently passed Métis great-grandmother. “Whenever I was working with the bees, I felt like if she was here, she’d be proud of me, knowing I took this risk, of trying to grow by…

U of A ranked among world’s top 100 in research performance

Strength in agricultural, environmental and engineering research shows in latest NTU rankings based on scientific publications

U of A ranked among world’s top 100 in research performanceBolstered by a strong showing in agriculture, the University of Alberta landed in the top 100 of a world ranking that compares the scientific performance of universities based entirely on academic publications. According to the 2021 NTU Ranking, calculated by National Taiwan University, the U of A ranked 91st globally – up one spot over last…

Discovery may improve understanding of how breast cancer spreads

Blocking a process involving a protein called BAD might lead to an ability to stem cancer's spread

Discovery may improve understanding of how breast cancer spreadsA team of University of Alberta researchers has identified an unexpected role for a protein known as BAD in the ability of cells to migrate in the body – a finding that has promising implications for understanding how breast cancer spreads. BAD, short for “BCL2 associated agonist of cell death,” has many roles in the…

Predicting which species most at risk from voracious lionfish predators

We have only two to five years to act once lionfish arrive

Predicting which species most at risk from voracious lionfish predatorsCoastal countries have between two and five years to act to protect native fish species once voracious lionfish arrive in their waters, according to a University of Alberta ecology professor who helped create a tool to predict which fish are in danger. The lionfish, originally a popular aquarium species native only to the Pacific and…
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