Science & Tech

New dating technique shows cobalt and copper mineralization occurred 150 million years more recently than originally thought.

20
November
2018

Cobalt deposits in one of Earth’s largest cobalt-mining regions are 150 million years younger than previously thought, according to a new study by University of Alberta geologists.

Working with former post-doctoral fellow Nicolas Saintilan, U of A geochemist Robert Creaser, Canada Research Chair in Isotope Geochemistry, used a new, rhenium-osmium dating system to examine the rich cobalt deposits in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Their results show that cobalt and copper mineralization occurred during a period of mountain building and deformation between 610 and 470 million years ago, suggesting that the deposits formed 100 to 150 million years more recently than originally thought.

The study also provides critical insight into exploration for cobalt, an important component in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in every...

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13
December
2018

Researchers solve seismic mystery that shook central Alberta communities

Unique combination of events caused icequakes that damaged homes and properties last New Year’s Day.

Icequakes created by a unique combination of weather and buckling lake ice—not earthquakes—caused the tremors that damaged homes and properties in several central Alberta communities last New Year’s
13
December
2018

Atomic-scale binary logic could power faster, more energy-efficient electronics

U of A physicists design atomic-scale circuits that could help next-generation computers run 100 times faster or use 100 times less energy.

Researchers at the University of Alberta have designed atomic-scale versions of the binary logic components that allow computer processors to perform complex operations—the latest in a series of
12
December
2018

Scientists identify new minerals for carbon capture and storage

Economic geologists show hydrotalcites are capable of carbon sequestration beneath the surface of mine tailings.

A new group of minerals were found to capture and store carbon, according to new University of Alberta research. The minerals, members of the hydrotalcite group, are the first outside of the
10
December
2018

Sea sponge study offers clues into how life adapts to harsh environments

New research shows how sea sponges survived in ancient ocean water—and gives insight into how modern life forms may adapt to pollution and climate change.

A new study of modern sea sponges is beginning to tell us how early life forms such as sea sponges found ways to survive in extreme environments prior to the evolution of modern life and the
05
December
2018

Record levels of mercury released by thawing permafrost in Canadian Arctic

Toxic chemical contained in permafrost being released by thawing and slumping into waterways, according to U of A researchers.

Permafrost thaw slumps in the western Canadian Arctic are releasing record amounts of mercury into waterways, according to new research by University of Alberta ecologists. “We measured total
03
December
2018

Three U of A researchers named national artificial intelligence chairs

Chairs will help lead Canadian AI research as part of $125-million national strategy.

Three early-career computing scientists from the University of Alberta were named Canada CIFAR AI Chairs earlier today. Alona Fyshe, Martha White and James Wright, who are also fellows of the
03
December
2018

$4 million from Lockheed Martin helps U of A biofuel spinoff company forge ahead

Investment will go toward construction of Forge Hydrocarbons’ commercial-scale production facility, already underway.

A University of Alberta spinoff company producing the next generation of renewable fuels received a US$4-million investment from Lockheed Martin to help the startup build a $25-million production
29
November
2018

U of A celebrates commercial potential of research

Researchers obtained nine patents and started up 11 spinoff companies last year through TEC Edmonton.

A new type of neuromuscular electrical stimulation designed to better treat people with spinal cord injuries was one of nine patents, along with 11 spinoff companies, that were celebrated during TEC
28
November
2018

Why some words are so darn funny

U of A researchers are cracking the science of what makes us crack up, one word at a time.

Upchuck, bubby, boff, wriggly, yaps, giggle, cooch, guffaw, puffball and jiggly: these are the top 10 funniest words in the English language, according to a new study by University of Alberta
20
November
2018

First Indigenous woman to graduate with PhD in engineering from U of A finds true calling

Oilsands remediation expert Chelsea Benally fulfils lifelong dream to help the environment after being sidetracked.

Chelsea Benally knew she’d landed a good, secure job when she was hired by Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. The pay was decent, and for a young chemical engineer, the national
19
November
2018

New ‘Fireball Network’ to help find meteorites more quickly

All-sky cameras installed across Western Canada will watch for falling meteorites and quickly alert scientists where they’re likely to land.

It took almost a week to find meteorites, including the Buzzard Coulee meteorite, from the fireball that blazed across the prairie sky in November 2008. But now, thanks to new state-of-the-art