Science & Tech

U of A researchers develop tool that analyzes millions of tweets to help understand public health in Alberta and across Canada.

01
April
2019

A new machine learning tool, developed by University of Alberta computing scientists, sifts through millions of Twitter posts to help understand health and wellness trends in Alberta and across Canada.

“We use machine learning to determine the location tweets refer to, the dimension of health they are related to, and the emotions expressed in each tweet,” said U of A computing scientist Osmar Zaiane.

 

“If we can do this properly, we can get a better understanding of what it’s actually like to live in a particular place, in terms of health and wellness.”

The tool, called Grebe, harnesses the power of machine learning to aid the work of health monitoring networks from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which generally rely on data compiled from self-reports or informat...

Headlines

17
April
2019

$20M in government funding brings new talent in sugar research to Canada and U of A

Glycomics researcher Lara Mahal announced as Canada Excellence Research Chair.

A world-renowned chemist is bringing her expertise to the University of Alberta to further her work in understanding how sugars interact with human health and disease, thanks to $10 million in
16
April
2019

U of A to host Canadian Mountain Network

Network of centres of excellence program funds latest network with $18.3 million over next five years.

The Canadian Mountain Network (CMN), hosted by the University of Alberta, is set to receive $18.3 million over the next five years through the national Networks of Centres of Excellence program, the
10
April
2019

What the first ever photo of a black hole means for science

First direct visual evidence of the universe’s most mysterious object is a milestone that will ripple into new research and teaching, say U of A astrophysicists.

The first ever image of a black hole is a milestone in astronomy that could lead scientists down new paths of research and offers a valuable teaching tool about the universe’s most mysterious object,
10
April
2019

Arctic temperatures warmest in more than 10,000 years

Study provides further evidence of rapid climate change in the North, moving us into uncharted territory, say scientists.

Arctic temperatures are the warmest they’ve been in more than 10,000 years, according to a new University of Alberta study that highlights alarming rates of climate warming and thawing of permafrost
01
April
2019

New experiments at Canadian neutrino detector confirm one theory, challenge another

Research facility enters new phase in quest to understand how elusive “ghost particles” work by measuring them directly.

Two new experiments at one of the world’s most advanced particle detectors have confirmed previous research that won the Nobel Prize in physics four years ago, while also testing whether another
28
March
2019

Feather mites may help clean birds’ plumage, study shows

Microscopic analysis shows feather mites may be beneficial to birds—not harmful, as previously thought.

Feather mites and birds have a unique relationship: the mites help birds keep their feathers healthy by removing bacteria and fungi, while the birds collect food for mites to eat, according to new
27
March
2019

Bringing Martian rocks back to Earth crucial for science, say researchers

International team of scientists outlines its objectives for NASA’s next Mars mission in 2020.

Samples need to be collected from Mars’ surface and returned to Earth for examination to answer our most pressing questions about the red planet, according to a group of international
26
March
2019

Genetic tagging offers better, less invasive way of tracking animals

Research by U of A ecologists suggests studying DNA signatures is a “one-stop shop” for wildlife conservation.

Genetic tagging—the identification and tracking of individual animals using DNA—is proving more useful than other, more invasive methods of tracking animals, according to new research out of the
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