Health & Wellness

University of Alberta experts share their knowledge, hopes and fears about the chances of finding a way to inoculate the world against the deadly pandemic virus.

27
July
2020

With more than 100 teams around the world racing to find a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, including three at the University of Alberta, what are the chances of getting something that works?

The World Health Organization’s list shows 21 vaccine projects in either phase 1 or 2 of clinical trials, and two projects, one in China and the other in the U.K., in phase 3. The top two report they are seeing protective antibodies created in their trials, but even they can’t say for sure whether, or when, their vaccines might be ready for widespread distribution.

There’s a lot at stake, with nearly 16 million of the world’s 7.5 billion people already infected and more than 600,000 dead—and the numbers are growing exponentially. And while public health measures such as social distancing and masks seem to be keeping the lid on the pandemic in Can...

Headlines

05
August
2020
| 06:00 America/Tegucigalpa

New guidelines aim to help people with dementia stay safe if they get lost

U of A researchers tap into experiences and ideas of people living with dementia to fill public information gap.

University of Alberta researchers have developed a new guideline to help people with dementia stay safe if they get lost, based partly on the experiences of those who are living with the
04
August
2020
| 06:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Canadians with disabilities face barriers to financial security, researchers find

Study shows those living with disabilities average 25 per cent less in assets—and COVID-19 is making the situation worse.

When University of Alberta sociologist Michelle Maroto came across a Toronto Star article about an Ontario woman struggling to make ends meet while battling Type 1 diabetes, she knew the story was
30
July
2020
| 08:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Discovery of mechanism behind HIV infections could also hold key to COVID-19: U of A researchers

New understanding leads researchers to try a new class of drugs against SARS-CoV-2 and HIV.

A newly discovered mechanism at work in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients may also lead to new treatments for COVID-19, according to a team of researchers at the University of
28
July
2020
| 06:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Shared-use roads improve physical distancing, research shows

Edmonton study suggests making underused roads available to pedestrians and cyclists encourages healthier behaviour during pandemic—and likely afterward.

Making some of Edmonton’s underused roadways available for pedestrians and cyclists cuts physical distancing violations along those routes by up to half, according to a University of Alberta study
28
July
2020
| 05:50 America/Tegucigalpa

Why Indigenous communities are taking COVID-19 measures into their own hands

Local responses to pandemic are a necessity to protect people at higher risk of infectious diseases—and a strong assertion of sovereignty, says U of A expert.

On the Government of Canada’s Indigenous Services web page, the first piece of information about COVID-19 is advice on how to wash your hands if you are under a drinking water advisory. This
23
July
2020
| 09:45 America/Tegucigalpa

Scientists build machine learning model for detecting early signs of depression in text

Computer algorithm that identifies linguistic clues could help health professionals diagnose and treat depression sooner.

A new machine learning model can detect early signs of depression in written text like Twitter posts, according to a study by University of Alberta computing scientists. “The outcome of our study
23
July
2020
| 06:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Long-term study reveals unique insights into how we change as we age

Landmark 35-year research project has yielded surprising findings about happiness, relationships, generational differences and more.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the differences between generations and the sociological forces defining their worldviews and behaviour. Stereotypes abound: the Silent
23
July
2020
| 05:50 America/Tegucigalpa

Students develop online tool to predict COVID-19 spread based on demographics

Interactive tool created for hackathon uses data on age, poverty, income and population density to show how many cases and deaths are likely in a region.

A University of Alberta neuroscience student and his University of Calgary colleagues have developed an online tool that predicts how the demographics of a region will affect the spread of COVID-19,
22
July
2020
| 10:34 America/Tegucigalpa

Obesity rates likely to rise during COVID-19 pandemic, study suggests

New consumer psychology research shows people under financial stress want to eat more of everything.

As financial stress mounts, so does the desire for all kinds of foods, according to a University of Alberta study that hints the COVID-19 pandemic will increase obesity rates, especially among those
22
July
2020
| 08:00 America/Tegucigalpa

U of A researchers make real-time tumour tracking in radiation therapy five times faster

Improving ability to track mobile tumours in real time could lead to safer and possibly automated radiation therapy, radiologists say.

A cross-faculty team of University of Alberta researchers has developed a faster way of tracking the movement of tumours in the body during radiation therapy, which could significantly improve
21
July
2020
| 06:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COVID-19 may spread more than two metres through the air in some indoor areas, say experts

Recent evidence no cause for panic, says U of A infectious disease specialist.

For those worried about the airborne transmission of coronavirus, University of Alberta infectious disease expert Nelson Lee wants to be clear—don’t panic. “We're not talking about long-range