How animals use mimicry to survive and thrive

Mimicry is usually designed to protect prey from predators. But some also use the tactic to fool prey

How animals use mimicry to survive and thriveWhat you see may not be what you get when it comes to the natural world. Many animals use mimicry to fool predators and prey into thinking they’re something else, with insects putting on the best show in this regard. Tens of thousands of species of insects aren’t what they seem at first glance. But…

Promising chemotherapy treatment for bladder cancer enters human trials

A rejected patent application nearly derailed years of research, but support from experts saved the day

Promising chemotherapy treatment for bladder cancer enters human trialsIn 2015, University of Alberta cancer researcher Jack Tuszynski learned that his patent application for a promising chemotherapy treatment for people suffering from metastatic bladder cancer had been rejected by the U.S. Patent Office. “That was it. I thought, ‘We can’t proceed, we’re done, we spent almost a decade working on this and it’s a no go,’”…

Fossil thought to be missing link between lizards, snakes debunked

The ‘snake with four legs’ is instead a long-bodied marine lizard

Fossil thought to be missing link between lizards, snakes debunkedFilling in the links of the evolutionary chain with a fossil record of a “snake with four legs” connecting lizards and early snakes would be a dream come true for paleontologists. But a specimen formerly thought to fit the bill is not the missing piece of the puzzle, according to a new study led by…

Research bringing us closer to a cure for diabetes

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Research bringing us closer to a cure for diabetesAs part of the celebrations, we're revisiting five great stories showcasing the breadth of work being done at the University of Alberta in the journey towards a cure. For many of the 465 million people around the world living with diabetes, insulin is a lifeline. Since their bodies don’t produce enough of the hormone naturally…

Study points to way to reducing many of the negative effects of HIV

Could lead to new treatments

Study points to way to reducing many of the negative effects of HIVIn a groundbreaking study of people living with HIV, University of Alberta researchers found that elusive white blood cells called neutrophils play a role in impaired T cell functions and counts, as well as the associated chronic inflammation that is common with the virus. Neutrophils are a foundational part of the body’s immune system and…

Raptors on the move are a sight to behold

Food and weather are driving migration forces. The best places to look are along coastal areas

Raptors on the move are a sight to beholdNo, this article on raptors isn’t about basketball – it’s about birds. Raptors – including hawks, eagles, falcons, harriers, owls and vultures – undertake prolonged and extensive migrations over a protracted period. What drives them? Where do they go? Let’s talk about owls first. Most owls are actually quite sedentary and only move short distances…

Obesity, Type 2 diabetes leading risk factors for severe COVID-19

Link could hold the key to improving immune responses against COVID-19 and other viruses

Obesity, Type 2 diabetes leading risk factors for severe COVID-19A little-understood link between insulin resistance in cells and obesity could hold the key to improving immune responses against COVID-19 and other viruses, according to University of Alberta researcher Sue Tsai. “We hypothesize that insulin resistance in immune cells such as B cells is a major link between obesity and an impaired antiviral response, leading…

Infections from respiratory viruses follow predictable seasonal pattern

Infections peak in January to June – a pattern that could help the health-care system plan

Infections from respiratory viruses follow predictable seasonal patternResearchers have identified a clear-cut seasonal pattern of respiratory viruses that could help hospitals plan for waves of sick patients. Bouts of respiratory illness from six viruses that were analyzed all peak in January and hit a low in June, with the peaks worse every second year, according to lead researcher Michael Hawkes, a pediatrics…

Exercise may be essential part of treating cancer

Rectal cancer patients exercising during radiation more likely to have tumours disappear

Exercise may be essential part of treating cancerPatients with rectal cancer who exercised while undergoing a form of tumour-shrinking radiation therapy in advance of surgery were more likely to have their tumours disappear, according to a University of Alberta study that begins to paint exercise as more than just a supportive care intervention. “This study starts to look at exercise as a cancer treatment,…

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…
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