Similarities between COVID-19 deaths, severe rheumatic illnesses

U of A medical researchers recommend rheumatic drugs, exercise to boost immune-regulating ‘natural killer’ cells

Similarities between COVID-19 deaths, severe rheumatic illnessesRheumatologists at the University of Alberta are flagging similarities between the deaths of some COVID-19 patients and those with rheumatic illnesses. They are testing proven rheumatic treatments to see whether they help against the pandemic virus. A substantial proportion of COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care die of pneumonia due to a cytokine storm, where…

A science-based guide to making your own protective mask

Textiles expert at U of A creates website with instructions to help people fashion homemade cloth masks based on best available evidence

A science-based guide to making your own protective maskIdeas for do-it-yourself masks are everywhere, but how do you know which are the best? There are no clear answers, but with that in mind, University of Alberta clothing and textiles professor Anne Bissonnette hopes a website she’s created can at least help people make some science-based choices as they sit down to their sewing. She wanted to…

Why COVID-19 could make the overdose epidemic worse

Social isolation can be deadly for people struggling with addictions, says University of Alberta expert

Why COVID-19 could make the overdose epidemic worseWhen Alberta’s chief medical officer, Deena Hinshaw, announced special exemptions to COVID-19 regulations for group therapy in residential addiction treatment centres, it was exactly what University of Alberta addictions expert Cameron Wild was hoping to hear. “The whole concept of recovery is in part founded on developing strong social supportive relationships,” said Wild. Wild is principal investigator with the…

Ebola outbreak provides public health lessons for COVID-19

Mistrust, fear and rumours helped the virus spread in 2018, but training trusted local leaders helped stop it, U of A researchers find

Ebola outbreak provides public health lessons for COVID-19Multiple factors led people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to resist public health messages during the 2018 outbreak of Ebola virus. University of Alberta researchers fear the situation could be repeated with COVID-19 unless lessons are learned from the earlier epidemic. “Mistrust, fear and rumours were complete obstacles to the efforts of the…

How to save your summer vacation from COVID-19

Thinking differently about leisure time can help you get a family getaway despite the pandemic, say experts

How to save your summer vacation from COVID-19How do we keep COVID-19 from ruining our precious vacation time, with international borders closed to travellers, festivals cancelled, parks, camping and cottage visits limited, and even small events like garage sales forbidden? There are ways to salvage summer plans – but it means thinking differently about our leisure time, say University of Alberta experts.…

The hunt for rare, valuable yellow diamonds

Yellow diamonds with colourless cores provide insight into the origin of their pure-yellow counterparts

The hunt for rare, valuable yellow diamondsA new study by University of Alberta scientists could help guide the search for rare, high-value yellow diamonds in the Canadian North. The researchers, led by PhD student Mei Yan Lai, examined the chemical makeup of stones recovered from the Chidliak and Ekati mines in Northern Canada to get a better understanding of how they formed.…

Standard surgical masks as good as N95 for family doctors: review

Evidence reviews of masks, goggles and shoe covers suggest individual pieces of PPE aren’t enough by themselves

Standard surgical masks as good as N95 for family doctors: reviewBy Michael Brown Contributor Troy Media There’s no evidence to suggest simple surgical masks aren’t as effective as scarce N95 respirator masks in protecting health-care staff during routine primary care, according to an international research team conducting literature reviews of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the context of COVID-19. University of Alberta occupational medicine specialists Sebastian…

How physiotherapy can help people recover from COVID-19

Cardiorespiratory therapy a vital part of treatment for patients during and after illness, say U of A physiotherapists

How physiotherapy can help people recover from COVID-19A type of physiotherapy that helps people improve their breathing and oxygen uptake can be crucial for those who need critical care, say physiotherapists working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy encompasses many things, from teaching patients different types of breathing exercises, mobilization exercises and manual techniques to providing postural advice…

Replacements for banned CFCs polluting Arctic: study

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

Replacements for banned CFCs polluting Arctic: studySubstances 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…

Game helps people overcome fear of spiders

U of A grad student designs augmented reality game that lets users see and touch virtual spiders that get more realistic as they level up

Game helps people overcome fear of spidersA University of Alberta fine arts student has designed an augmented reality (AR) gaming platform to help arachnophobes overcome their fear of spiders. “The idea is, if I'm sitting here with an AR headset on, I can see a spider right in front of me,” said Anna Chakravorty, who submitted the project for her master’s…