‘Natural killer’ cells key determinant of severe COVID-19 in patients

Findings hoped to lead to new biomarker to identify patients at higher risk

‘Natural killer’ cells key determinant of severe COVID-19 in patientsAn impaired count of natural killer (NK) immune cells and reduced ability to destroy infected cells are key characteristics of severe COVID-19 infection, according to newly published research in the journal Blood Advances. A team of researchers at the University of Alberta and University of Calgary followed 12 patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms at hospitals in Edmonton. They…

Think about the common good: wear a mask

The pandemic gives us a golden opportunity to be altruistic or egoistic

“Stay the blazes home,” was Premier Stephen McNeil’s frustrated plea to the citizens of Nova Scotia in April of this year. The plea resonated across the province; it captured the imagination and gave rise to a humorous bout of creativity. People could buy Stay the Blazes Home beer, T-shirts and other memorabilia while chanting a…

Over one-third of children with COVID-19 show no symptoms

Over one-third of children with COVID-19 show no symptomsMore than one-third of kids who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, according to a study that suggests youngsters diagnosed with the disease may represent just a fraction of those infected. “The concern from a public health perspective is that there is probably a lot of COVID-19 circulating in the community that people don’t even realize,” said Finlay…

COVID-19 vaccines will work if Canadians play their part

COVID-19 vaccines will work if Canadians play their partDespite the many logistical questions that remain, University of Alberta virologists insist the multiple vaccine candidates that have emerged will work if Canadians can do their part by staying healthy until the spring. “More than ever, people should be very careful that they don’t get this disease, because we have a light at the end…

Why are we facing lockdowns again?

If our leaders don’t learn any lessons and create better safeguards during a lockdown period, people will keep lashing out

Why are we facing lockdowns again?Many governments imposed short-lived lockdowns during the first wave of COVID-19 to help stop the spread of the virus in their countries. As we head deeper into the second wave, that dreaded battle cry has been ringing across the lands once more. Several European nations, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the United…

Food industry keeps adapting to changing times

The food industry is in a much better position going into a second phase of lockdowns. But some risks remain

Food industry keeps adapting to changing timesMany Canadian regions will likely go through a second COVID-19 lockdown soon. And questions about the resiliency of our food supply chain are emerging again. With potentially 60,000 new COVID-19 national cases a day within weeks, it seems inevitable. Further lockdowns could well include even the Atlantic bubble. The COVID-19 virus knows no borders and…

Online learners falling behind in their reading skills

Especially if they already struggled with reading before COVID-19

Online learners falling behind in their reading skillsLast spring’s COVID-19 school closures put young, struggling readers further behind in their skills – and the situation won’t get better unless there are changes to online and at-home instruction, suggests a University of Alberta reading expert. A comparison of reading ability scores among students in Grades 1 to 3 in a sampling of Alberta…

Skepticism over Covid-19 response growing

Science is messy, and its bewilderment as to how to respond to Covid-19 is beginning to wear on people

Skepticism over Covid-19 response growingNews that not one but two COVID-19 vaccines have tested 95 per cent effective casts a welcome burst of light into Canada’s gloomy COVID-19 narrative, amid signs the pandemic is ripping into the nation’s social fabric. Moderna announced that its vaccine candidate proved 94.5 per cent effective in trials. Meanwhile, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech…

It’s not too late to adopt Sweden’s approach to COVID-19

It didn’t spend billions to pay people to stay home – as we have done – while compromising our children’s futures for generations

It’s not too late to adopt Sweden’s approach to COVID-19Most countries that adopted the lockdown model are still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, there’s an easing of rules when infection rates decrease. But when rules are relaxed and infection rates naturally rise, authorities clamp down again. Masks go off – then on again. Meanwhile, the horrendous cost of paying furloughed workers…

Women bear the brunt of COVID-19 shutdowns

Women bear the brunt of COVID-19 shutdownsWomen across the world know a silent truth: they’re bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s economic fallout. These hectic months have placed an extra burden on women’s shoulders and persistent lockdowns threaten to erase decades of gender equality earned in the labour force. Although COVID-19 kills slightly more men than women, the labour market impact…
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