Science & Tech

Discovery by U of A researchers may lead to better bait traps that attract more of the forest pests.

09
July
2019

University of Alberta research has discovered new chemicals carried by fungi in the mountain pine beetle that could be used to build better traps in the battle against the ravaging forest pest.

The Grosmannia fungi associated with the insect emit several chemical odours that have proven attractive to other types of bark beetles, according to a new study led by post-doctoral fellow Jonathan Cale.

The hope is that those chemicals can also be used against the mountain pine beetle, which has attacked millions of hectares of Western Canada’s pine forest. 

RELATED: New trap for mountain pine beetles could help weaken their spread RELATED: Hybrid mountain pine beetles set to spread more easily

The discovery “opens up a whole range of possible attractants that could be used to improve baits being used to manage the beetle,” Ca...

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16
July
2019

Newly discovered cattle genes could be keys to more sustainable beef industry

U of A researchers pinpoint 19 genes linked with feed efficiency, which could help reduce carbon footprint of cattle farming.

A newly discovered series of genes related to feed efficiency could pave the way to making cattle farming cheaper and more sustainable, according to a new study by University of Alberta
12
July
2019

Why you shouldn’t kill your friendly neighbourhood spiders

They may creep us out, but spiders in Alberta are mostly harmless to humans and helpful to the ecosystem, says U of A expert.

When that itsy-bitsy spider climbs up the spout, resist the urge to stomp it out—even if it makes your skin crawl. The leggy bugs get an unfair reputation as being poisonous and creepy, when in
11
July
2019

Researchers improve AI that can tell from your voice if you’re depressed

Goal is to develop smartphone apps that can track users’ moods.

Artificial intelligence can now more accurately detect whether you’re depressed by analyzing the sound of your voice, thanks to new research by University of Alberta computing scientists.  Using
11
July
2019

VR app gives students a new way to see inner workings of cells

Virtual reality learning tools point to future of post-secondary education, says U of A cell biologist.

An educational app created at the University of Alberta is giving cell biology students a brand new perspective on their subject and may also offer a glimpse into the not-so-distant future of
10
July
2019

Sounds of intense emotion may be universal language across species, study shows

Humans and chickadees can both tell other animals are afraid or excited from the sounds they make, new research shows.

People can tell how other people are feeling by the sounds they make and now, new research from the University of Alberta shows that may also apply to different animals. “The idea is that some
05
July
2019

Cutting back forest in southern Rockies could cut risk of severe wildfires: study

Restoring grasslands lost to encroaching coniferous forest over the last 100 years could reduce risk of high-intensity fires by half, new research suggests.

Reversing the encroachment of the coniferous forest that happened in the southern Rockies during the last century would significantly lower the probability of high-intensity wildfires in the region,
04
July
2019

Arctic scientist named to Order of Canada

John England honoured for lifetime of research in the Canadian Arctic and environmental advocacy.

Canadian Arctic scientist John England has been named to the Order of Canada for his lifelong contributions to research in the Canadian Arctic and environmental advocacy.  A celebrated advocate
03
July
2019

Scientists develop new method for studying early life in ancient rocks

Research pinpointing potassium as indicator could also help in search for life on Mars.

Scientists have developed a new method for detecting traces of primordial life in ancient rock formations using potassium.  The method relies on searching for high concentrations of potassium in
02
July
2019

U of A researchers create ‘encyclopedia of milk’

New online database lists more than 2,000 chemical compounds in one of the world’s most popular drinks—including 168 never before reported.

What’s in that glass of milk you’re drinking? Now you can find out, thanks to a new database created by University of Alberta researchers. The newly launched, one-of-a-kind Milk Composition
26
June
2019

Highway medians are a food source for wildlife, study shows

Small mammals are foraging in vegetation growing in medians—and getting to it by using passages meant to help them cross highways, according to U of A biologist.

Small animals such as weasels, mink and chipmunks are using highway medians as food sources, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists. “We observed animals foraging for
18
June
2019

Study of microbes essential to help solve climate change problems, say scientists

Microorganisms play critical role in climate change, both producing and consuming greenhouse gases, argues U of A biologist.

Ignoring the role of microorganisms could have dire consequences when it comes to climate change, according to a new statement issued by an international team of microbiologists. “Microbiology