Islet transplant patient 252: ‘A second chance at a better life’

Procedure developed at U of A guides islet cell transplants for people with Type 1 diabetes around the world

Islet transplant patient 252: ‘A second chance at a better life’Nina Greene’s diabetes was so hard to control, she had “Type 1 Diabetic” tattooed on her left wrist – a guarantee that emergency medical personnel could identify her illness quickly if she was found unconscious. Despite all her efforts to manage her diabetes, she wound up in hospital so often with high or low blood…

Training industry-ready grads in growing field of SMART technology

Training industry-ready grads in growing field of SMART technologyUniversity of Alberta students will get cross-disciplinary, work-integrated learning in one of Canada’s fastest-growing industries, thanks to a major grant announced on Thursday. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded $1.6 million to the U of A for the Sensory-Motor Adaptive Rehabilitation Technology (SMART) CREATE training program to train up to 120 graduate and…

’21st-century stethoscope’ makes diagnosing faster and easier

Star Trek-like scanners may be on the verge of becoming a reality

’21st-century stethoscope’ makes diagnosing faster and easierFuturistic handheld scanners that can instantly diagnose all that ails us are on the verge of becoming a reality, thanks to a University of Alberta researcher whose use of artificial intelligence (AI) to pinpoint a growing host of disorders landed him an unprecedented research chair. Jacob Jaremko, a pediatric and musculoskeletal radiologist and researcher in…

‘Molecule libraries’ help speed the search for new drugs

Alberta-based 48Hour Discovery works with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to streamline the process

‘Molecule libraries’ help speed the search for new drugsWith the cost of drug development beginning to skyrocket in the 1990s, pharmaceutical giants thought the path to better economics lay in high-throughput screening facilities that would test libraries that ranged in size from a few thousand up to million compounds at a time. “Separate shelves, many rooms, with the emphasis on robotics and automation…

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…

New devices could prevent a significant number of disabling strokes

Results from clinical trial expected to significantly change how clinicians monitor for atrial fibrillation in stroke patients

New devices could prevent a significant number of disabling strokesA clinical trial examining the efficacy of two devices to monitor and detect atrial fibrillation (AF), or an irregular heartbeat, in ischemic stroke patients – one an implantable device that monitors over 12 months, the other an external device that monitors over 30 days – found the implantable device is more than three times more…

Inventor reimagines beer accessory to create a better mask

The masks needed to be reusable and seal around the nose so the user’s glasses don’t fog up

Inventor reimagines beer accessory to create a better maskJames McCrimmon is the inventor of an accessory to keep your beer cool. His Alberta-based business relies on major events like Canadian Football League games and rodeo for sales. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, McCrimmon found his proverbial keg empty. But instead of crying into his frosty mug, he decided to reimagine his product into…

Are self-checkouts winning the machine-versus-human battle?

The pandemic is changing our unease when using self-checkout counters

Are self-checkouts winning the machine-versus-human battle?Only a few years ago, self-checkouts were seen as job killers by many Canadians. Grocers just didn’t know what to think of self-checkouts. And consumers had a love-hate relationship with them. Some saw them as job killers, replacing humans who desperately needed employment. Others quietly used them, either preferring a speedy exit or simply avoiding…

Spinoff company could help unlock a lithium industry for Alberta

Innovative technology extracts the increasingly valuable metal from wastewater

Spinoff company could help unlock a lithium industry for AlbertaAlberta’s oil and gas fields could be in store for another natural resource boom thanks to a University of Alberta-based lithium extraction technology with the ability to unlock the increasingly valuable metal. Faculty of Science geochemist Dan Alessi, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and former post-doctoral fellow Salman Safari have spun off their technology…

Innovative solar-powered oxygen system saving lives in Somalia

U of A researchers team with Grand Challenges Canada and World Health Organization to bring a health-care necessity to a Somalia

Innovative solar-powered oxygen system saving lives in SomaliaOn Feb. 5, minutes after she gave birth to her eighth child at the Hanaano General Hospital in Dusamareb, Somalia, 37-year-old Zahra’s (Editor's note: Name changed to protect privacy) heart sank. Her doctor explained her baby had birth asphyxia, which meant she was having difficulties in breathing. She had an oxygen rate of less than…

Giving high schoolers a head start on becoming entrepreneurs

U of A business professor teams up with Edmonton school in project to teach students how to turn ideas into successful ventures

Giving high schoolers a head start on becoming entrepreneursOne path to a diversified economy is exposing people to entrepreneurship, according to a University of Alberta professor who is partnering with a local high school to pilot an entrepreneurship program. “If you want to diversify the economy, starting in college with this kind of education is too late,” said Michael Lounsbury, professor and Canada Research…

New funding will accelerate health innovation in Alberta

New funding will accelerate health innovation in AlbertaThree University of Alberta projects have received funding from Alberta Innovates to accelerate health innovation in the province. PRECISE, ADEPT and the University of Alberta Health Hub & Accelerator have been awarded support through the Health Innovation Platform Partnerships (HIPP) program. The program seeks to enable a health innovation ecosystem that is robust, co-ordinated and offers a competitive…

Fast-growing Edmonton startup helps get new drugs to market sooner

DrugBank now used by scientists, pharmaceutical companies and other customers around the world

Fast-growing Edmonton startup helps get new drugs to market soonerAn Edmonton startup has become the world’s largest pharmaceutical knowledge database through research that began at the University of Alberta. DrugBank offers a one-stop-shop for curated scientific data on thousands of drugs, including molecular details, chemical structures, targets and proteins, as well as clinical information on side-effects, interactions with other drugs, allergies, synonym names, availability…

Innovative syringe detects potentially lethal fentanyl overdose

Potentially life-saving product wins Telus Innovation Challenge's $100,000 first prize

Innovative syringe detects potentially lethal fentanyl overdoseA group of University of Alberta science students won $100,000 to help turn a brainstorming session about what could have helped family members avoid a fentanyl overdose into a street-ready solution that will ultimately be a lifeline for those who struggle with addiction. “We’ve witnessed addiction and overdose in our families, so we were talking…

Alberta planting the seeds for a tech boom but care required

Alongside investing and funding, the government of Alberta must emphasize entrepreneurship and keep co-operating with the private sector

Alberta planting the seeds for a tech boom but care requiredTechnology companies have emerged as clear winners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jurisdictions without a traditional tech imprint – like Alberta – have funnelled funds to facilitate startups. That’s a good diversification strategy, but they should be careful not to veer into protectionism and favouritism. It came as no surprise that in 2020 retail sales through…

Project to create jet fuel from biowaste gets federal funding boost

Innovative research could provide a supply of renewable fuel

Project to create jet fuel from biowaste gets federal funding boostA potentially huge industrial project to create jet fuel from biowaste has received a $2.89-million funding boost from Natural Resources Canada. The investment, which includes $1.99 million in direct funding and $900,000 in in-kind contributions, will go toward setting up an advanced fuel-testing suite in lead researcher David Bressler’s lab and will also support the work of several…

Edmonton startup in race to develop lab-grown meat

Industry poised for rapid growth

Edmonton startup in race to develop lab-grown meatA fast-growing Edmonton startup company that’s a new player in the cellular agriculture sector recently received US$2.2 million from three U.S. venture capital firms and a number of private investors. Future Fields, which was incorporated in 2018, was founded by two University of Alberta graduates and a former U of A employee. All but two…

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovation

Uses range from reclaiming wastewater to capturing carbon and decontaminating soil

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovationIt looks like the throwaway scrapings from a barbecue grill, but biochar is fanning the flames of discovery as University of Alberta researchers explore the product’s environmental benefits. The blackened byproduct – created from waste like cow manure, wheat and canola straw, and sawdust produced in Alberta – has many uses that help the environment…

Mining sector needs to get in on the hunt for strategic minerals

Local access is crucial if we are to ensure the long-term viability of our technology sector

Mining sector needs to get in on the hunt for strategic mineralsThe Canadian mining sector has been a vital cog in the country’s economy during the pandemic, with the importance of the industry growing steadily over time. Operations and exploration continued during the COVID-19 outbreak, collaborations with Indigenous communities expanded, technological sophistication accelerated, and, at a time when environmental assessment processes deter investment in Canada, international…

Chemists discover new method of creating high-quality memory devices

When paired with a silicon chip, gallium and its alloys produce a powerful memory device capable of stable, accurate information storage

Chemists discover new method of creating high-quality memory devicesAn international research team of chemists has identified a new method of creating high-quality memory devices, called memristors, for electronics using inexpensive and non-toxic liquid metals. At the heart of the revolutionary technology are gallium and its alloys. Gallium is a non-toxic and lustrous metal that’s better known for its use in soldering. But when…

Independent grocers are a dying breed

Most Canadians wouldn’t know that a lot of the innovation we’ve seen in food retailing in Canada has come from independents

Independent grocers are a dying breedMost of us wouldn’t know if we were in an independently owned and operated grocery store unless a notice is posted somewhere as you enter the store or you ask someone. Canada regularly loses an independent grocer these days. Last week, we learned that Empire (Sobeys) would purchase one of Canada’s top premium independent grocers,…

University of Alberta and Telus partner on a 5G ‘living lab’

$15M investment focuses U of A’s innovation and commercialization capabilities, starting with precision agriculture, autonomous vehicles

University of Alberta and Telus partner on a 5G ‘living lab’The University of Alberta has announced a five-year partnership with Telus to establish a 5G “Living Lab” at the U of A that will contribute to a pipeline of new research and technology with commercial applications. It will also support the development of the talent pool needed to enhance economic recovery and diversification in Alberta.…

Nanotechnology could significantly reduce industrial use of freshwater

Advance in water filtration technology has applications everywhere from the energy industry and agriculture to municipal water treatment

Nanotechnology could significantly reduce industrial use of freshwaterIn 2017, University of Alberta mechanical engineering professor Mohtada Sadrzadeh found himself presenting his work on a new water treatment technology at the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) conference right after a researcher from an IBM research centre who was pitching almost exactly the same technology. “It was strange for me at first — you hear the name…

A Canadian path to a regenerative cure to Type 1 diabetes

A Canadian company has developed a revolutionary way to improve the lives of those with diabetes

A Canadian path to a regenerative cure to Type 1 diabetesFor people living with diabetes, the hope for a functional cure remains 100 years after Dr. Frederick Banting’s breakthrough discovery of insulin. In answer to those hopes, a Canadian company has developed a revolutionary way to improve the lives of those with diabetes. Insulin remains the standard of care for people living with diabetes. The…

Critical reagents needed for COVID-19 testing now produced in Canada

Up until now, Canada has been highly dependent on foreign suppliers

Critical reagents needed for COVID-19 testing now produced in CanadaUniversity of Alberta spinoff company Applied Quantum Materials Inc. (AQM) is using its chemical production expertise to partner with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Precision Labs to provide critical reagents needed for COVID-19 testing. “These reagents – or ‘magnetic beads’ – used in standard nucleic acid testing are the gold standard for molecular tests,” said Stacey Hume, associate professor in…

Researcher designs better ventilation controls to stop spread of Covid-19

New approach controls viruses indoors to hopefully avoid future pandemic shutdowns

Researcher designs better ventilation controls to stop spread of Covid-19An engineering researcher is building smarter controls for building ventilation systems to maximize fresh air intake and minimize the spread of viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Yousef Alipouri’s project is one of six to receive new funding from the Alberta Innovates Graduate Fellowship in Health Innovation. “With our approach we can control viruses indoors…

New funding could help scientists unlock the quantum internet

Will help researchers build next-gen, ultra-secure networks for quantum computers

New funding could help scientists unlock the quantum internetOn Oct. 29, 1969, researchers at UCLA, with help from a computer the size of a cement truck, sent what would become the first message over the first incarnation of the “internet” to Stanford. The first two letters of the one-word message, LOGIN, made the cross-California trip before the fledgling system crashed. “Fifty years ago…

U of A spinoff, U.S. firm merge to commercialize transplant technology

Bridge to Life commits US$10 million to clinical trial and commercial development of Tevosol Ex-Vivo Organ Support System

U of A spinoff, U.S. firm merge to commercialize transplant technologyUniversity of Alberta spinoff company Tevosol has merged with the U.S.-based medical technology company Bridge to Life, bringing its game-changing organ transplant devices a step closer to approval, manufacture and global distribution. While Tevosol will remain based in Edmonton, Bridge to Life has committed US$10 million to a multi-centre clinical trial and commercial development of Tevosol’s Ex-Vivo Organ Support…

High-tech rehabilitative platform connects rural Albertans to specialists

Platform allows specialists to offer physiotherapy expertise for patients in smaller communities

High-tech rehabilitative platform connects rural Albertans to specialistsThe human touch of a high-tech University of Alberta project is starting to be felt by rural Alberta physiotherapy patients on the road to recovery. The specialized assessments made possible through a telehealth project that began last summer are moving patients in small communities to tears of relief as they get the help they need.…

Alberta should be at the forefront of the shift to electric vehicles

We need a national mining strategy so Canada can supply the global market with the lithium needed for electric vehicle batteries

Alberta should be at the forefront of the shift to electric vehiclesPolitical pundits, politicians and talking heads in the media for the most part spend very little time watching for disruption and innovation in the marketplace. A global consensus has formed that oil as a form of transportation energy should become a stranded asset. Alberta’s vast lithium reserves mean the province can forget about yesterday and…
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