Discovery shows promise for safer, more effective COVID-19 treatments

Protease inhibitor compounds interfere with the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s ability to replicate itself

Discovery shows promise for safer, more effective COVID-19 treatmentsA team of researchers at the University of Alberta has uncovered new antiviral agents that could lead to safer and more effective COVID-19 treatments than other drugs under development. In a recently published paper in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the researchers identified novel protease inhibitor compounds that interfere with the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s ability to replicate…

Mentorship key to breakthrough science in women and children’s health

Placenta in a petri dish is just one innovation that attracts top students and research dollars

Mentorship key to breakthrough science in women and children’s healthJasmine Nguyen signed up for a tour of Meghan Riddell’s cell biology lab as a first-year undergrad in the Faculty of Science and was immediately hooked. “Meghan pulled a placenta out of what was basically a lasagna dish and it was love at first sight,” said Nguyen, who’s now working on her fourth-year honours thesis…

Link between access to voting and health found in study

Americans facing voting barriers due to race, age, income less likely to have health insurance; implications for Canadian system

Link between access to voting and health found in studyAmericans who face barriers to voting due to their racial background, age or socio-economic status are also less likely to have health insurance, according to recently published research in The Lancet Regional Health - Americas. “We saw a significant relationship between barriers to voting and being uninsured, particularly among African Americans, Asian Americans, those living in lower-income households…

Five things we all need to know about reconciliation in health care

First Indigenous president of the Canadian Medical Association speaks about what it will take to overcome inequities

Five things we all need to know about reconciliation in health careOn Canada’s newly-declared National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we asked Dr. Alika Lafontaine to take stock of the state of reconciliation in health care. Lafontaine, an anesthesiologist at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie and associate clinical professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, was recently chosen as the…

COVID-19 underscores ‘invisible pandemic’ of diet-related diseases

Public policies can help support better individual choices

COVID-19 underscores ‘invisible pandemic’ of diet-related diseasesThe COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light both weaknesses and opportunities in the way public policies can support children’s long-term health, according to the seventh and final Alberta Nutrition Report Card on Food Environments for Children and Youth, released recently. “Kids eat what’s available to them, what’s affordable and readily accessible,” said principal investigator Kim…

Solving poverty needs all hands on deck, advocates say

Creating a more inclusive economy

Solving poverty needs all hands on deck, advocates saySolving poverty in our communities goes far beyond charities and social agencies. Graduates with business, civic planning, arts and other backgrounds have just as much to contribute as social workers, according to University of Alberta poverty researcher Maria Mayan. “We have great young thinkers within our university who want to make a difference in the world…

Convalescent plasma doesn’t help severely ill COVID-19 patients: study

Blood transfusions from people who recovered from the disease didn’t help patients improve

Convalescent plasma doesn’t help severely ill COVID-19 patients: studyGiving severely ill COVID-19 patients a blood transfusion from donors who have already recovered from the virus did not help them improve. In some cases, according to a major Canadian-led clinical trial reporting results in Nature Medicine, it made them sicker. “Convalescent plasma had been found to boost immunity in patients infected with some other viral…

Grad school experience leads to role fighting anti-black racism

Evelyn Asiedu is applying her skills as a scientist to promote equity and diversity

Grad school experience leads to role fighting anti-black racismFor Evelyn Asiedu, graduate school was not just about finding her path as a scientist; it was also about finding her path as an activist against anti-black racism. Asiedu, who will soon graduate with a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, didn’t talk about her experience with racism during her first few years…

How to re-engage women in the economy after COVID

How to re-engage women in the economy after COVIDWomen have been hit hardest when it comes to job losses during COVID-19, so when the federal government brings down its budget on April 19, the first since the pandemic began, it’s expected that getting women back to work will be a top priority. The government has tapped 18 women to form Canada’s Task Force on Women…

Wastewater from care homes could be COVID-19 early warning system

Wastewater samples from manholes near long-term care facilities being tested to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2

Wastewater from care homes could be COVID-19 early warning systemUniversity of Alberta medical scientists are teaming up with public health officials, Edmonton’s drainage utility company and other collaborators to develop an early warning system for COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes. On Jan. 4, EPCOR began taking twice-weekly wastewater samples from manholes located at 10 Edmonton long-term care facilities, which are then tested by U of…

Wear Red Day warns women about risks of heart attack and stroke

To be held on Feb. 13, its goal is to arm women with knowledge and questions to ask their doctors

Wear Red Day warns women about risks of heart attack and strokeDid you know that heart attack and stroke represent the leading cause of premature death for women in Canada? Or that Canadian women are five times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer? Or that 53 per cent of women who have heart attack symptoms go undiagnosed when they seek medical treatment?…

Women less likely to die from COVID-19 than men

Hormones, chromosomes contribute to stronger immune response and better outcomes for female COVID-19 patients

Women less likely to die from COVID-19 than menFemale COVID-19 patients face less severe disease complications and a lower risk of dying than male patients thanks to hormones and chromosomes that contribute to a stronger immune response, according to new research from a University of Alberta-led team. “The highlight of our study is how the sex differences in COVID-19 are linked to ACE2,” said senior…

New treatment for blood cancer developed

U of A research sets the stage for imminent human trials of B-cell lymphoma treatment

New treatment for blood cancer developedScientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published recently in Nature Communications. The University of Alberta research team led by Luc Berthiaume, cell biology professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, spent four years working to…

New ‘atlas’ of the heart offers new approach to treating heart disease

Cutting-edge techniques the first step toward understanding heart disease and developing new targeted treatments to stop it

New ‘atlas’ of the heart offers new approach to treating heart diseaseScientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published recently in the journal Nature. Cardiologists from the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute at the University of Alberta joined teams from Cambridge, Boston and Berlin to use state-of-the-art analytical techniques to sequence the ribonucleic acids (RNA)…

New test for heart failure could help COVID-19 patients

U of A researchers say COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease are linked thanks to ACE2 enzyme and may respond to same treatments

A new blood test that reliably predicts outcomes for heart failure patients could lead to new diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19 patients as well, according to newly published research from cardiologists at the University of Alberta. The researchers examined circulating angiotensin peptide levels in the blood of 110 people who were experiencing heart failure due to…