Science & Tech

Researchers find degraded, toxic compounds from CFC replacements in ice core sample from summit of Devon Ice Cap.

20
May
2020

Substances used to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) may be as problematic as their predecessors, a new study shows. 

“The degradation products from these substances may be just as concerning as the original chemicals they were meant to replace,” said Alison Criscitiello, director of the University of Alberta’s Canadian Ice Core Lab.

“We are seeing significant levels of these short-chain acids accumulating in the Devon Ice Cap (in the Canadian Arctic), and this study links some of them directly to CFC replacement compounds.” 

The substances were used following Canada’s implementation of the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 global agreement to protect Earth’s ozone layer by banning CFCs. 

An ice core drilled on the summit of the Devon Ice Cap in the Canadian High Arctic shows a tenfold increase in deposits of short...

Headlines

03
June
2020
| 17:01 America/Tegucigalpa

Carbon dioxide stored in Earth’s mantle could be released into atmosphere with potential long-term effects for climate change, say scientists

Significant carbon dioxide could be released by shifting continental plate in Eastern Africa, new study shows.

Shifting continental plates in Eastern Africa have the potential to release significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to new research by an international team of scientists
01
June
2020
| 21:48 America/Tegucigalpa

Scientists develop paper-based sensors for carbon dioxide

New sensor has potential applications for smart buildings and industry.

A new sensor for detecting carbon dioxide can be manufactured on a simple piece of paper, according to a new study by University of Alberta physicists.  “You can basically think of it as a litmus
01
June
2020
| 16:13 America/Tegucigalpa

Scientists pinpoint areas in boreal forests that offer refuge to plants and animals as climate gets warmer and drier

U of A biologists lead effort to identify lakes, hills and peatlands where species stand a better chance of survival.

North America’s boreal forests are warming and drying from climate change, but they still hold places that can offer refuge for plants and animals, according to University of Alberta scientists who
29
May
2020
| 13:55 America/Tegucigalpa

Student-generated map shows COVID-19 travel restrictions in Northern Canada

Project aims to document decisive response to pandemic by First Nations and remote communities, says U of A undergrad.

An undergraduate student at the University of Alberta created a map of travel restrictions and road closures in Canada’s North in an effort to document how Indigenous and remote communities are
28
May
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

DIY diabetics create artificial pancreas, push health-care industry, regulators to develop better treatments

U of A PhD candidate studies and participates in grassroots movement to hack diabetes equipment.

People with Type 1 diabetes—including U of A graduate student Jonathan Garfinkel—are using free instructions from the internet to build an artificial pancreas. The patient-led movement is pushing
27
May
2020
| 17:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Student-built dashboard gives insight into global COVID-19 picture

U of A computing science grad students build interactive tool for displaying and interpreting ever-changing data as pandemic unfolds.

Three graduate students at the University of Alberta developed a new, interactive tool to help provide insight into the COVID-19 pandemic. “The goal is to transform the dynamic big data to charts
27
May
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

U of A spinoff company developing simple blood test to predict severity of COVID-19 in patients

Nanostics using diagnostic technology to help health professionals intervene more quickly and efficiently with patients who are likely to need hospital care.

A University of Alberta spinoff company focused on creating and commercializing non-invasive diagnostic tests is developing a simple blood test to predict the severity of COVID-19 in positive
27
May
2020
| 13:50 America/Tegucigalpa

Researchers aim to find out whether COVID-19 can spread through ventilation systems

U of A buildings to serve as “living lab” for study on whether HVAC systems can help viruses spread, and how to improve filtration to prevent it.

In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, it was the Diamond Princess cruise ship, not a country, that trailed only China in the number confirmed COVID-19 cases. While the ill-fated trip dragged
26
May
2020
| 23:09 America/Tegucigalpa

App promises to improve pain management for dementia patients

Computing scientists aim to help health-care workers assess pain symptoms often mistaken for psychiatric problems.

University of Alberta computing scientists are developing an app to help health-care staff assess and manage pain in patients with dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.  “The challenge
25
May
2020
| 22:42 America/Tegucigalpa

Mathematicians reveal the science behind figure skating

3-D model describes motion of a figure skater, with potential practical applications for professional skaters and coaches.

A new mathematical model developed by University of Alberta scientists shows how figure skaters move across the ice—and could help professional skaters hone their technique or prevent
21
May
2020
| 13:55 America/Tegucigalpa

COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season, says expert

Humans account for up to 80 per cent of Alberta’s wildfires in May, but that’s likely to change this year as public health measures keep people at home.

COVID-19 may cause a drop in spring wildfires as people are still being asked to self-isolate throughout May, Alberta's riskiest fire month, says a University of Alberta expert. “Since we’re