Science & Tech

Study shows some animals inherit stores of food—and are more likely to be successful in life.

08
March
2019

For red squirrels, the death of a male you’ve never met could be the key to your survival, according to a new study.

Young red squirrels who inherit food caches abandoned by older male squirrels have 50 per cent more offspring than those who do not, according to the research.

“Young squirrels need to move out of ‘home’ by the autumn of the year in which they are born,” explained U of A biologist Stan Boutin, co-author of the study with his colleague, David Coltman. “They can't push adults off of territories and food caches so they have to find places left vacant by the death of an adult. The juveniles then inherit whatever is left in the food store when the adult died.”

The best chance of a large inheritance is finding an abandoned food cache from a three- to four-year-old male squirrel, said Boutin, who added that the bigge...

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22
March
2019

Paleontologists identify biggest Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered

Nicknamed Scotty, the record-breaking rex is also the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada.

The world’s biggest known Tyrannosaurus rex lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan 66 million years ago and measured 13 metres, according to University of Alberta paleontologists. “This is the rex of
22
March
2019

Discovery of self-destruct mechanism in algae could have broad applications for antibiotics and biofuels

U of A microbiologists find first evidence of bacteria causing programmed cell death in single-celled algae.

In a discovery that could have broad applications from the development of targeted antibiotics to the production of biofuels in industry, University of Alberta biologists discovered evidence of
20
March
2019

New model shows southern and central Rocky Mountains were formed differently than originally thought

Mountains were formed by flat-slab subduction process that increased stresses at the edge of the continent.

A new model built in part by a University of Alberta geophysicist contradicts a long-held idea about how the southern and central central Rocky Mountains were formed. Claire Currie was part of a
18
March
2019

Local cat killings linked to coyotes, study shows

U of A research provides basic signs that help officials determine a cat’s cause of death more easily.

After a spike of reported cat killings in the Edmonton and St. Albert areas in 2007, veterinary pathologist and U of A adjunct professor Nick Nation examined several of the dismembered
13
March
2019

U of A lab receives funding to help prevent opioid addiction in chronic pain patients

Pharmacology lab upgrades among 16 U of A projects sharing more than $3 million in new grants.

The microbiome of the human gut—the ecosystem of bacteria and other microbes that thrive within it—has become the latest frontier of research into a list of ailments that range from allergies to
13
March
2019

Long, cold winter won’t affect fire season, says expert

May is the busiest fire month in Alberta, cautions U of A scientist who urges people to be vigilant and report wildfires immediately.

Alberta’s long, cold winter won’t do anything to dampen the 2019 wildfire season, but being extra careful when working and playing in the forests this spring could help, says a University of Alberta
12
March
2019

U of A autonomous systems research receives $14.9-million funding boost

New provincial grants will also advance post-secondary collaborations aimed at preventing superbugs and developing quantum technologies.

The University of Alberta has been put in the driver’s seat of a $14.9-million Centre for Autonomous Systems in Strengthening Future Communities, thanks to funding from the provincial government and
11
March
2019

Immediate population management needed to save remaining caribou herds, study shows

Timely, coordinated interventions work in halting demise of woodland caribou in B.C. and Alberta, say researchers.

By MICHAEL BROWN The fate of woodland caribou rest on a varied, immediate and intense response to reduce predation rates, according to a University of Alberta-led comprehensive review of
07
March
2019

Rare butterfly species more abundant in older, wider seismic lines

Finding highlights structural change in forest; impact on other insects remains unknown.

Seismic lines—used to measure underground oil reserves in Northern Alberta—seem to be good for butterflies, including one rare species. In one of the first studies to measure the impact of seismic
22
February
2019

New algorithm boosts accuracy, speed of lung tumour identification

U of A computing scientists develop neural network that outperforms other state-of-the-art methods of tracking tumours in real time, which could improve radiation treatment.

Computing scientists at the University of Alberta have developed a neural network that outperforms other state-of-the-art methods of identifying lung tumours from MRI scans—an advance that could help
20
February
2019

Floating particles may play role in mitigating loss of Arctic sea ice, new study shows

The same effect that keeps an icy drink from spilling over may help prevent waves from accelerating loss of sea ice, researchers find.

Waves created by melting Arctic sea ice may not worsen the loss of additional ice as much as has been speculated in the past, according to new research from the University of Alberta. Bruce