Project aims to streamline hunt for toxic algae in lakes (June 18, 2013)
Researchers at the University of Alberta are using new equipment to detect toxic blue-green algae blooms in Alberta's lakes more accurately and efficiently.
Congratulations to Montane Elk Project on 2013 Emerald Award (Shared Footprints)
Mark Boyce,Simone Ciuti,Dana Seidel,Andrea Morehouse,& Henrik Thurjfell
http://www.montaneelk.com (June 7, 2013)
The Montane Elk Program is committed to research ensuring the environmentally sound development of Alberta’s energy resources. With a particular focus on mitigating the effects of energy development on elk in southwest Alberta, the project has become the world’s largest radiotelemetry study on elk.
Centuries-old frozen plants revived (Catherine La Farge) (May 28, 2013)
Plants that were frozen during the "Little Ice Age" centuries ago have been observed sprouting new growth, scientists say.
Samples of 400-year-old plants known as bryophytes have flourished under laboratory conditions.
Celebration of Excellence (Maggie Haag and Dean Wilson) (May 25, 2013)
A big congratulations goes out to two members of the Department of Biological Sciences for being recognized for their contributions to the department and the faculty.
Dean Wilson is the recipient of the Faculty of Science Service Award. Maggie Haag won the Innovation in Teaching Award from the Faculty of Science.
A big congratulations to yet another outstanding member of the department: Charlene Nielsen has been named recipient of this year's Nat Rutter Outstanding Technician Award (see information below). Well done, Charlene!
U of A biology researcher Isabel C. Barrio analyzed how two herbivores, caterpillars and pikas, competed for scarce vegetation in alpine areas of the southwest Yukon.
“What we found was that the pikas preferred the patches first grazed on by caterpillars,” said Barrio. “We think the caterpillar’s waste acted as a natural fertilizer, making the vegetation richer and more attractive to the pika.”
Scott Persons, a paleontology graduate student at the U of A, says new evidence of Microraptor’s hunting ability came from fossilized remains in China.
Before this discovery, paleontologists believed microraptors, which were about the size of a modern-day hawk, lived in trees where they preyed exclusively on small birds and mammals about the size of squirrels.
(Edmonton) University of Alberta biologist Stan Boutin uses a simple analogy to describe a breakthrough research paper on the behaviour of squirrels.
Boutin is the senior investigator of a long-running squirrel research project in the Yukon and co-author of a paper showing that female red squirrels use stress hormones to give their offspring an edge in the competition for survival.
Previous research has established that caffeine interferes with processes in cancer cells that control DNA repair, a finding that has generated interest in using the stimulant as a chemotherapy treatment.
“The problem in using caffeine directly is that the levels you would need to completely inhibit the pathway involved in this DNA repair process would kill you,” said Shelagh Campbell, co-principal investigator. “We’ve come at it from a different angle to find ways to take advantage of this caffeine sensitivity.”
Is it time to feed the polar bears? (Andrew Derocher) (February 13, 2013)
As sea ice disappears and habitat deteriorates in some polar bear ranges, a newly published paper by 12 of the world’s foremost experts suggests it’s time to consider how to manage increasingly troubled populations.
One idea? Setting out big piles of polar bear chow on the tundra.
Zebrafish eyed as answer to restoring vision (Ted Allison) (January 31, 2013)
(Edmonton) Zebrafish, a staple of genetic research, may hold the answer to repairing damaged retinas and returning eyesight to people.
University of Alberta researchers discovered that a zebrafish’s stem cells can selectively regenerate damaged photoreceptor cells.
Lead U of A researcher Ted Allison credits the success to what he says is the university’s “impressive cluster of vision science researchers and outstanding environment for cross-disciplinary work spanning discovery science to clinical work.”