Convalescent plasma doesn’t help severely ill COVID-19 patients: study

Blood transfusions from people who recovered from the disease didn’t help patients improve

Convalescent plasma doesn’t help severely ill COVID-19 patients: studyGiving severely ill COVID-19 patients a blood transfusion from donors who have already recovered from the virus did not help them improve. In some cases, according to a major Canadian-led clinical trial reporting results in Nature Medicine, it made them sicker. “Convalescent plasma had been found to boost immunity in patients infected with some other viral…

Climate simulation models are not reality, nor are they science

Climate simulation models are no more real than your favourite video game

Climate simulation models are not reality, nor are they scienceIn a recent article about climate change, Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein gave us a master class on how to sell the results of a computer model as if it represents reality. In his world, a group of scientists can take a short-term heat wave, crank it through an “ensemble” of theoretical mathematical climate…

Is China turning its back on science and progress?

Totalitarian societies such as China require conformity and loyalty, not independence of thought

Is China turning its back on science and progress?One of the most notable features of Nazi Germany was its anti-intellectualism. While it claimed to be at the forefront of scientific and technical advances, its ideology and totalitarian rule made free enquiry and interchange between scientists and other technical people untenable. Researchers became wary of making bold assertions, even when backed by solid evidence…

Biomanufacturing partnership boosts Canada’s vaccine capacity

New partnership ensures vaccine makers now have an option to manufacture their products domestically

Biomanufacturing partnership boosts Canada’s vaccine capacityVaccine makers, medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies now have a new full-service option to get their products manufactured in Canada, thanks to a partnership announced this week. The U of A’s Alberta Cell Therapy Manufacturing (ACTM) facility has signed a memorandum of understanding with The Ottawa Hospital’s Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC) and BioCanRx, a Canada-wide research network to develop…

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…

Four U of A researchers named to Royal Society of Canada

Innovators in women and children’s health, water safety, nutrition and archeology join ranks

Four U of A researchers named to Royal Society of CanadaWhy some are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease than others, even when taking into account life-modifying factors like smoking and exercise, boils down to developmental aspects that start in the womb, according to a global authority on vascular pathophysiology in the pregnancy complication of pre-eclampsia. “It sets the stage,” said Sandra Davidge, Distinguished University Professor in…

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…
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