Science & Tech

Near-complete fossil found in Alberta reveals that North American and Asian raptors had distinct family trees.

11
October
2019

The discovery of a nearly complete fossil of a small, feathered dinosaur in an Alberta provincial park sheds new light on how “raptor” dinosaurs evolved around the world, according to new research by University of Alberta paleontologists. 

The 76-million-year-old species, known as Saurornitholestes langstoni, was long thought to be so closely related to Velociraptor from Mongolia that some researchers called it Velociraptor langstoni

The new research, by world-renowned paleontologists Philip Currie and Clive Coy from the U of A and David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum, illustrates how Saurornitholestes differs from Velociraptor. It also shows that Saurornitholestes had a specialized tooth for preening feathers and provides new evidence that the raptor lineage from North America that includes Saurornitholestes is distinct fro...

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10
October
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Scientists find recipe for greener garden waste disposal

Adding manure and crop leftovers to leaves and clippings helps earthworms digest them—and speeds up composting by 80 per cent, researchers find.

Scientists have developed a recipe that addresses a growing need for sustainable disposal of urban garden waste in China and could also be useful in North America. In Beijing, where the research
07
October
2019
| 00:24 America/Tegucigalpa

New research reveals how we make sense of compound words

New study and accompanying 8,000-word database have applications in health care, education and artificial intelligence.

People process compound words—like snowball—and words that look like compound words but aren’t—like carpet—in the same way, according to new University of Alberta research that has broad applications
04
October
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

What I did on my summer vacation

Researchers value summer as crucial time for field work, development.

If Megan Strickfaden had to write the classic back-to-school essay, “What I did on my summer vacation,” she’d probably need a lot of foolscap.  After travelling on four continents, the University
03
October
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

New U of A digital scholarship centre gives researchers the tech they need when they need it

Centre provides virtual reality room, high-performance computers, 3-D printing and more.

Virtual reality, visualization walls, and video games! Cutting-edge technology more commonly seen in high-tech research labs or computing centres is not what you typically expect to see in a
01
October
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

VR game gives users ‘eyes-on’ experience with vision loss

Simulation developed by U of A ophthalmologists helps patients, families and health professionals understand what progressive vision loss feels like.

In a virtual world, a knight in full armour sits in front of me, expectantly waiting for me to deal them some playing cards. As the game progresses, a large black spot grows in the middle of my
26
September
2019
| 17:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Recycling salty water could help control detrimental microbes in Alberta drill sites

Study of two drill sites in Alberta suggests recycling saline water produced by hydraulic fracturing affects microbial growth below ground.

Recycling salty water produced from hydraulic fracturing may be effective for managing microbes at well sites in Alberta, according to a new study by University of Alberta scientists that could help
26
September
2019
| 14:05 America/Tegucigalpa

U of A researchers move closer to ‘magic’ cancer treatment

Small molecules could help immune system attack tumours.

Imagine cancer treatment without chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Just a small aspirin-like pill. Sound like magic? That’s because it kind of is, according to Khaled Barakat, a University of
25
September
2019
| 19:04 America/Tegucigalpa

Fingerprints of Earth’s original building blocks discovered in diamond-bearing rocks

Primordial chemical signatures discovered in modern rock formations trace back more than two billion years.

Chemical signatures recently found in rock formations are providing critical insight for understanding the formation of Earth, according to scientists. An international research team analyzed
24
September
2019
| 23:21 America/Tegucigalpa

Near misses on slot machines may not encourage continued gambling: study

New research suggests there may be no relationship between near misses and persistent play.

You enter your quarter into the slot machine and hit the button. Two lemons and a cherry appear in front of you—close to a win, but not quite. For nearly 70 years, researchers believed near misses
24
September
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Leaving more deadwood in forests enhances biodiversity: study

Increasing the number of dead trees in protected forests boosts populations of species that depend on it for habitat, research review shows.

Increasing the amounts of deadwood in protected forests would help conserve biodiversity, according to a new University of Alberta review. Published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, it showed
20
September
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

New AI program better at detecting depressive language in social media

U of A computing scientist developing technology that could help platforms like Twitter and Facebook alert users to possible depression.

A new technology using artificial intelligence detects depressive language in social media posts more accurately than current systems and uses less data to do it. The technology, which was