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…

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…

The importance of social connection in a time of isolation

Social isolation has become a defining feature of modern Western societies and there’s a growing concern about its effects

The importance of social connection in a time of isolationWhen people look back at this pandemic, they will remember many things, but perhaps most of all they will recall the changes in social behaviour. There’s the obsessive washing of hands, not touching our face, forgoing handshakes, hoarding toilet paper, wearing masks, working from home and, of course, social distancing – or, more accurately, physical…

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…

COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season: expert

Humans account for up to 80% of Alberta’s wildfires in May but that’s likely to change this year as health measures keep people at home

COVID-19 could reduce wildfire risk this season: expertCOVID-19 may cause a drop in spring wildfires as people are still being asked to self-isolate throughout May, Alberta's riskiest fire month, says a University of Alberta expert. “Since we’re still staying at home in May, there are fewer people recreating or working in the forests and human-caused fires will be reduced,” said wildfire scientist Mike…

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…

Does wastewater give early warning of COVID-19?

University of Alberta expert helping lead national pilot project that could be critical in the battle against the coronavirus

Does wastewater give early warning of COVID-19?One of the best ways to find out whether the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is on the rise or declining in a community is to look in the sewer, say public health experts. That’s where you’ll find early telltale signs of its genetic signature. University of Alberta water expert Steve Hrudey is…

Chernobyl disaster’s legacy still resonates

New interest in Chernobyl as the result of an HBO miniseries prompts U of A historian to reflect on 1986 nuclear disaster

Chernobyl disaster’s legacy still resonatesIt’s synonymous with nuclear disaster. It’s inspiring new scrutiny from historians. And it’s the subject of an award-winning HBO miniseries. When Chernobyl first made global headlines in April 1986, reporters trying to make sense of the accident looked to a young University of Alberta researcher. “Every single major news outlet was phoning up Edmonton,” said David…