Butterflies ‘sentinels’ of climate change in mountain ecosystems

U of A scientists urge more monitoring of butterfly populations to help understand alpine environments predicted to change rapidly

Butterflies ‘sentinels’ of climate change in mountain ecosystemsMountains and butterflies are conceptualized as the ultimate juxtaposition – enduring and resolute versus fleeting and delicate – but the surprising robustness of alpine butterflies could help scientists better understand the impact climate change is having on mountains. In an essay written for the third annual State of the Mountains report by the Alpine Club of Canada, University…

Neonatal heart surgery survivors face kidney, blood pressure issues

Neonatal heart surgery survivors face kidney, blood pressure issuesBabies who have life-saving surgery for congenital heart problems within the first month of life face a lifelong risk of chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, according to new research led by University of Alberta pediatric specialists. “We know that kidneys, like all organs, have to last a lifetime,” said Catherine Morgan, associate professor and interim…

Is alien life floating in the clouds of Venus?

There’s a good chance the global shift from skepticism to possibility about extraterrestrial life is about to extend even further

Is alien life floating in the clouds of Venus?Is there life on other planets? That question has intrigued man for generations. Most people used to scoff at the suggestion of the existence of UFOs and tales of little green men from Mars (or worse). Societal attitudes have shifted due to our increased fascination with Roswell/UFO sightings, Phoenix Lights, Lubbock Lights, and depictions of…

Are COVID-19 safety measures protecting Canada’s health workers?

Study assessing physical, mental health effects of treating COVID-19 patients one of two U of A projects receiving federal funding

Are COVID-19 safety measures protecting Canada’s health workers?There’s heightened anxiety among physicians and jumps in depression among nurses, health-care aides and personal support workers, according to early data from a University of Alberta study. The study is looking into the effectiveness of safety measures to protect the physical and mental health of Canada’s health-care workforce treating those with COVID-19. Occupational epidemiologist Nicola Cherry,…

Worse birth outcomes, higher pregnancy risk in poorest rural regions

Alberta researchers identify gradients of risk for preterm births, small and large size at birth, smoking and drug use by mothers

Worse birth outcomes, higher pregnancy risk in poorest rural regionsThe highest concentration of adverse birth outcomes and related maternal risk factors occur in rural areas of Alberta with the lowest socio-economic status, according to new research from the University of Alberta. “When it comes to perinatal health, postal code can be as important as your genetic code,” said perinatal epidemiologist Maria-Beatriz Ospina, assistant professor of obstetrics…

‘Superdeep’ diamonds shed light on Earth’s inner workings

U of A researcher leads study revealing new insights into Earth’s carbon cycle

‘Superdeep’ diamonds shed light on Earth’s inner workings  In a new study led by a University of Alberta PhD student, researchers used diamonds as breadcrumbs to provide insight into some of Earth’s deepest geologic mechanisms. “Geologists have recently come to the realization that some of the largest, most valuable diamonds are from the deepest portions of our planet,” said Margo Regier, a PhD…

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…

Common sunscreen ingredients dangerous for freshwater ecosystems

Research by U of A biologists shows detrimental effects on tiny water fleas that are fundamental to freshwater food chains

Common sunscreen ingredients dangerous for freshwater ecosystemsThe active ingredients found in sunscreen have detrimental effects on freshwater ecosystems, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists. The results show that long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) filters – including avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octocrylene – is lethal for some organisms living in freshwater environments. One of the largest sources of UV-filter contamination…

How changes in ancient soil microbes could predict Arctic future

Changing balance of microorganisms in Arctic soil due to climate change could have widespread effects, according to new research

How changes in ancient soil microbes could predict Arctic futureMicrobial communities in Arctic permafrost changed drastically at the end of the last ice age – and the shift could happen again due to modern climate change, according to a new study by University of Alberta scientists. The researchers compared the microbial communities found in permafrost formed during the last ice age, at the end of…

Antiviral used to treat cat coronavirus also works against COVID-19

Fast-tracked University of Alberta research leads to phase 1 clinical trials

Antiviral used to treat cat coronavirus also works against COVID-19Researchers at the University of Alberta are preparing to launch clinical trials of a drug used to cure a deadly disease caused by a coronavirus in cats that they expect will also be effective as a treatment for humans against COVID-19. “In just two months, our results have shown that the drug is effective at…
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