Science & Tech

Researchers found out new things about everything from health and science to history, hockey and dogs.

20
December
2019

1. What scouts look for—and watch out for—in hockey prospects

A study by a master’s student and longtime WHL scout answered the question on every hockey parent’s mind—and showed that parents’ bad behaviour can also hurt a player’s brand.

2. Dinosaur skull turns paleontology assumptions on their head

The asymmetrical horns on a well-preserved Styracosaurus skull were so surprising, they could have paleontologists taking a new look at previous fossils to make sure they’ve been identified properly.

3. Canadians told to stop taking aspirin to prevent first heart attack, stroke

Never had a heart attack or stroke? You shouldn’t be taking aspirin to prevent it from happening, according to a new study that one of the researchers called “the most significant practice-changing evidence to come out in the past year.” 

4. Cheese ...

Headlines

17
January
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Newly developed screening processes will help accelerate carbon capture research

U of A researchers are helping make carbon capture more efficient, screening 120,000 carbon capturing solids in hours—instead of thousands of years.

University of Alberta researchers have developed techniques that save a significant amount of time in developing more efficient carbon capture technologies, which may help lower the costs to use the
10
January
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

New technique could accelerate waste-to-methane production

U of A engineering researchers find ways to turn waste fat, oil and grease into a supply of renewable energy.

University of Alberta engineers have found a way to turn waste fat, oil and grease into a steady supply of renewable energy. In a recent study, environmental engineering master’s student Bappi
08
January
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Researchers create ‘artificial cartilage’ that can repair itself

New hydrogel made from forestry and fishing waste could help replace petroleum-based products from contact lenses to pill capsules.

A new hydrogel material created from materials typically discarded by the forest and fishing industries could be a substitute for petroleum products used in a variety of biomedical applications, from
24
December
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

The top 10 folio stories of 2019

A big question on hockey parents’ minds, expert advice on food safety and lawn care, and a prediction about the federal minority government were among our most-read stories this year.

1. What scouts look for—and watch out for—in hockey prospects On the eve of the NHL draft, a U of A master’s student and longtime WHL scout said the intangible indicators of character—including
18
December
2019
| 20:44 America/Tegucigalpa

New study identifies last known occurrence of extinct human ancestor

Homo erectus fossils found in Indonesia suggest ancient species of humans went extinct between 117,000 and 108,000 years ago.

Scientists have identified the last known members of an extinct species of early humans known as Homo erectus, the first ancestors of modern humans to walk fully upright. An international team of
18
December
2019
| 19:01 America/Tegucigalpa

‘DNA is not your destiny’: Genetics a poor predictor of risk for most diseases, study suggests

Diseases including many cancers, diabetes and Alzheimer’s have a genetic contribution of five to 10 per cent at most, researchers find.

In most cases, your genes have less than five per cent to do with your risk of developing a particular disease, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists.  In the largest
18
December
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

10 student stories that inspired us in 2019

U of A students showed their class this year with excellence under pressure, resilience in the face of adversity and ingenious ideas.

1. Widower’s search for cancer cure takes surprising turn After losing his wife to a rare type of ovarian cancer 10 years ago, Powel Crosley vowed to cure the disease. Now, after graduating with a
17
December
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Human ‘check engine’ lights not far away

U of A computer scientist suggests remote monitoring could reduce health-care costs.

A University of Alberta computing scientist thinks the future of health care looks like the blinking check engine light on the dashboard of your car.  “There’s a whole bunch of sensors that say,
16
December
2019
| 17:38 America/Tegucigalpa

New model explains how our immune system sometimes helps cancer spread

Research by U of A mathematicians has implications for preventing and treating metastasized cancer.

Mathematicians at the University of Alberta have developed a model that explains how the immune system interacts with cancer—and in some cases, may help cancer spread to other areas of the
16
December
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Pine trees with larger resin ducts better able to survive mountain pine beetle attack

Discovery could help regenerate pine stands blighted by beetle attacks.

Not all pine trees are created equal when it comes to fending off their mortal enemy, the mountain pine beetle. A new University of Alberta study shows that lodgepole pine trees with larger resin
13
December
2019
| 23:04 America/Tegucigalpa

Leaving home benefits male squirrels but not females, study shows

Male squirrels that move outside the population they were born in live longer and have more offspring, U of A ecologists find.

Moving away from home offers better prospects for male squirrels than for females, according to a new study by University of Alberta ecologists. The researchers used nearly 30 years of data on a