Discovery shows promise for safer, more effective COVID-19 treatments

Protease inhibitor compounds interfere with the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s ability to replicate itself

Discovery shows promise for safer, more effective COVID-19 treatmentsA team of researchers at the University of Alberta has uncovered new antiviral agents that could lead to safer and more effective COVID-19 treatments than other drugs under development. In a recently published paper in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the researchers identified novel protease inhibitor compounds that interfere with the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s ability to replicate…

Guidelines help prevent unnecessary destruction of ancient remains

Human remains are considered sacred by many around the world and deserve respect and protection

Guidelines help prevent unnecessary destruction of ancient remainsWhen Elizabeth Sawchuk started getting involved in ancient DNA research as part of her archeological research in Africa, she turned to colleagues for advice on sampling DNA from ancient human remains. As a post-doctoral fellow at Stony Brook University, she felt it was crucial to get it right. “They’re extremely precious,” said Sawchuk, now a Banting post-doctoral…

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…

We need a Plan B to deal with climate change

Adapting to a changing climate is the only feasible option

We need a Plan B to deal with climate changeDrawing heavily from physicist Steven Koonin’s recent book – Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters – my last column looked at some of the challenges involved in getting to global carbon-free by mid-century. Koonin actually calls it “a practical impossibility.” Now let’s talk about contingency planning. If carbon…

Internship immerses Black students in STEM, business

The program is giving 38 students tools to pursue career goals while caring for themselves

Internship immerses Black students in STEM, businessIn high school, Imani Murray fell in love with the brain. Next, she set her sights on pursuing her dream career: becoming a neurosurgeon. Now a physiology student in her third year at the University of Alberta, Murray is putting her passion and studies into practice for the first time – and growing in more…

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.…

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thought

If aspirations and reality collide, always bet on reality

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thoughtIf you’ve been following international news lately, you’ll have noticed a new development. Europe and Asia are suddenly worried about energy. With winter coming, costs are soaring and there’s even concern about shortages that might trigger industrial shutdowns and endanger people’s ability to heat their homes. From an object of loathing and scorn, fossil fuels…

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…
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