Ostrich eggshell beads reveal oldest known social network

Artifacts dating back 50,000 years help us better understand human connections

Ostrich eggshell beads reveal oldest known social networkIt’s one of the most enduring craft traditions in human history, stretching back 50,000 years: tiny donut-shaped beads made from ostrich eggshells. They reveal the oldest social network ever identified, according to a study by Jennifer Miller. The beads probably originated in eastern Africa and spread west and south through the continent as people traded them…

Manufacturing human organs … with farm animals

Every year, 200 to 250 Canadians die while waiting for an organ transplant

Manufacturing human organs … with farm animalsIn an unprecedented surgery, a 57-year-old American with serious heart disease had a heart transplant with a genetically-modified pig’s heart on Jan. 7. Almost two weeks later, the patient is reportedly still doing well. This surgery was a first, performed by a team from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It’s among the first…

Five facts all parents should know about the mRNA vaccines

There needs to be caution about any coercion that could harm our children

Five facts all parents should know about the mRNA vaccinesThe Canadian Academics for Covid Ethics (CA4CE) is a group of researchers and scholars from fields spanning the natural and social sciences and humanities. It is concerned with the mismanagement of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response in Canada and around the world.  The following commentary was written by Alexander Andrée, PhD, Valentina Capurri, PhD, Claudia…

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…

Next-generation genetic sequencing to detect pancreatic and biliary cancer

Nearly $1M awarded to seven new projects from U of A researchers focusing on cancer, pulmonary, diabetes and neurology research

Next-generation genetic sequencing to detect pancreatic and biliary cancerSeven new University of Alberta research projects focusing on cancer, pulmonary disease, diabetes and neurology are the latest recipients of funding from the 2020 Kaye Competition. The annual competition supports individuals and collaborative, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams in the pursuit of research, innovation and quality-improvement programs and projects that seek to establish new approaches to patient…

How Canada botched its campaign for vaccines

The proven determinants of scientific progress – collaboration, a plan, guaranteed funding, transparency – are nowhere to be found

How Canada botched its campaign for vaccinesThe Human Genome Project (HGP) stands as one of mankind’s most remarkable achievements. Its significance is easily equal to, or even eclipses, James Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery of DNA’s helical structure, or Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. The goal was to determine the position and function of the more than 100,000 genes…

Made-in-Alberta COVID-19 vaccine candidate goes to clinical trials

DNA-based vaccine offers advantages that could make it easier to get into the arms of Canadians if approved

Made-in-Alberta COVID-19 vaccine candidate goes to clinical trialsA made-in-Alberta COVID-19 vaccine is taking a major step forward on the path to Health Canada approval with the start of a Phase 1 clinical trial. Entos Pharmaceuticals, an Edmonton company led by CEO and University of Alberta researcher John Lewis, has shipped a vaccine for testing to the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology in Halifax. The…

Research aims to reduce use of chemical pesticides

Which creepy-crawlies can be harnessed to act as the most effective natural method of pest control?

Research aims to reduce use of chemical pesticidesFields used to grow food are naturally crawling with insects – but which ones can help crops just by being there? A University of Alberta research program aims to find out. Using next-generation DNA analysis, researcher Boyd Mori of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences is looking to see which creepy-crawlies can be harnessed to act as…

Program launched to diagnose genetic diseases in children

Children are disproportionately affected as genetic diseases typically manifest during childhood

Program launched to diagnose genetic diseases in childrenA new pilot program aims to find answers and better treatments for children living with rare genetic conditions. The Undiagnosed Disease Program, launched in January, is a collaboration between the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) and University of Alberta researchers from medical genetics and pediatric neurology to provide a diagnosis to patients in the…

Landmark research could lead to better understanding of diseases

Answer to a fundamental question that has eluded scientists since the discovery of DNA

Landmark research could lead to better understanding of diseasesUniversity of Alberta researchers have found an answer to a fundamental question in genomic biology that has eluded scientists since the discovery of DNA: Within the nucleus of our cells, is the complex package of DNA and proteins called chromatin a solid or a liquid? In a study published in the journal Cell, the research team, led…
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