Science & Tech

Study of well-preserved specimen suggests ancient flying reptiles were far more diverse than previously thought.

29
November
2019

Ancient flying reptiles known as pterosaurs were much more diverse than originally thought, according to a new study by an international group of paleontologists. 

The research—conducted by scientists at the University of Alberta and the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—reveals an ancient and extremely well-preserved pterosaur specimen originally discovered in a private limestone quarry in Lebanon more than 15 years ago. 

“The diversity of these ancient animals was much greater than we could ever have guessed at, and is likely orders of magnitude more diverse than we will ever be able to discover from the fossil record,” said U of A paleontologist Michael Caldwell, who was a co-author on the study. 

Results also suggest that this particular type of pterosaur likely fed on crustaceans, flying on long, narrow wings and c...

Headlines

03
December
2019
| 22:02 America/Tegucigalpa

How a protein in your brain could protect against Alzheimer’s disease

New research sets the stage for exploring a potential cause of Alzheimer’s and a different approach to treating it.

New research has found that the most common version of a protein called CD33 plays a crucial role in regulating white blood cells in the human brain, which could have important implications in the
03
December
2019
| 18:00 America/Tegucigalpa

U of A, biotech company team up to study whether medical cannabis could treat neurological conditions

U of A and Atlas Biotechnologies to explore use of medical cannabis for treating MS, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases.

A new partnership between the University of Alberta and Atlas Biotechnologies will explore the use of medical cannabis for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s
02
December
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Micro implants could restore standing and walking

U of A research has a proven concept to restore spinal function.

When Vivian Mushahwar first applied to grad school, she wrote about her idea to fix paralysis by rewiring the spinal cord. It was only after she was accepted into a bioengineering program that the
28
November
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

90-million-year-old ‘comma’ shrimp fossil sheds new light on modern species

Tiny well-preserved fossils discovered in South America reveal oldest known relative of species that still thrives today.

The discovery of hundreds of finely preserved 90-million-year-old fossils in South America has revealed the oldest direct ancestor of the comma shrimp, a species that is still common today. “Comma
26
November
2019
| 21:52 America/Tegucigalpa

Dinosaur skull turns paleontology assumptions on their head

U of A paleontologists uncover spiky skull with asymmetrical features that overturn long-standing assumptions in identifying horned dinosaurs.

A team of researchers at the University of Alberta has unearthed a well-preserved Styracosaurus skull with facial imperfections that could change how paleontologists identify new species of
20
November
2019
| 17:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Extraordinary skull fossil reveals secrets of snake evolution

"Beautifully preserved" specimen helps answer long-standing questions on how snakes lost their limbs and evolved specialized skulls over the last 95 million years.

On very rare occasions, an exceptional fossil is unearthed that provides an extraordinary glimpse into the evolution of a group of organisms. This time, it is the beautifully preserved skull of an
19
November
2019
| 17:51 America/Tegucigalpa

Scientists discover new drugs with potential to treat stubborn cancers

New class of drugs could make radiation therapy and chemotherapy more effective by preventing cancer cells from repairing damage to their DNA.

Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new class of drugs with the potential to make cancer treatment safer and more effective by preventing cancer cells from repairing
18
November
2019
| 00:25 America/Tegucigalpa

Some small mammals undeterred by industrial activity, study shows

New research suggests deer mice and red-backed voles in Alberta’s boreal forest aren’t bothered much by industry.

Two common species of small mammals are not significantly disturbed by industrial activity near their homes, according to a new study by University of Alberta scientists.  Researchers examined
14
November
2019
| 17:05 America/Tegucigalpa

Genes borrowed from bacteria allowed plants to move from sea to land

New study shows “horizontal gene transfer” allowed early plant life to adapt to harsher conditions on land—and reveals new species of algae in the process.

Natural genetic engineering allowed plants to move from water to land, according to a new study by an international group of scientists from Canada, China, France, Germany and Russia. “This is one
13
November
2019
| 18:17 America/Tegucigalpa

Scientists developing warning system to teach bears to avoid trains

U of A researchers focus on animal learning to understand why bears frequent railway tracks in national parks and help reduce fatal collisions.

Researchers at the University of Alberta are working on a warning system aimed at teaching grizzly bears that frequent railway tracks to get out of the way of oncoming trains. The device uses a
07
November
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Climate change affecting prairie birds as much as habitat loss

Preserving vanishing wetlands could help offset effects of long-term increases in temperature and precipitation, researchers suggest.

The grasslands of the Canadian Prairies are a hidden gem for bird watchers, with millions of migratory birds passing through the area each year. But they are also one of the most transformed