Students get virtual taste of real-world life on the farm

With help from Alberta farmers, an online animal science course is giving U of A students an inside look at the agricultural industry

Students get virtual taste of real-world life on the farmOnline classes during COVID-19 can feel a bit distant. But add in 48 farmers and a real-time calf birth, and things perk up considerably. That vivid minute-by-minute experience of watching a Black Angus cow give birth was a matter of lucky timing as Jesse Emery gave University of Alberta animal science students a virtual walking…

Keep government out of the internet business

Keep government out of the internet businessManitoba’s Opposition New Democratic Party proposes the creation of a new Crown corporation to provide high-speed internet service to rural and remote communities, particularly First Nations communities, in that province. This is a bad idea for several reasons. A host of private-sector and government organizations are launching enormous flotillas of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to…

Innovative livestock grazing approach could reduce greenhouse gases

Innovative livestock grazing approach could reduce greenhouse gasesAn innovative approach to livestock grazing could help eliminate climate change-causing greenhouse gases, according to a new study. The research shows that a strategy called adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing extracts methane gas from the atmosphere, locking it inside the soil through microbial activity. Methane gas has a climate warming effect that is 28 times more potent…

High-tech rehabilitative platform connects rural Albertans to specialists

Platform allows specialists to offer physiotherapy expertise for patients in smaller communities

High-tech rehabilitative platform connects rural Albertans to specialistsThe human touch of a high-tech University of Alberta project is starting to be felt by rural Alberta physiotherapy patients on the road to recovery. The specialized assessments made possible through a telehealth project that began last summer are moving patients in small communities to tears of relief as they get the help they need.…

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divide

Indigenous communities are setting up their own satellite, fibre optics and even cellular phone networks

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divideWhen Bruce Buffalo returned to Maskwacis after years away in the big city, he was appalled to discover parts of his community still had no internet service. Just an hour’s drive from Edmonton, some neighbourhoods in the Indigenous community remained cut off from the rest of the world as recently as 2016, apart from a few…

Virtual clinic pilot sees success in rural Alberta community

U of A spinoff company launches MedROAD virtual clinic in Alberta, making long-distance health care a reality during COVID-19

Virtual clinic pilot sees success in rural Alberta communityA new pilot project called MedROAD is bringing the power of precision health to Pincher Creek, Alta. – and seeing promising results. MedROAD promises to be the future of telehealth, leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and cloud-based computing to remotely connect patients with health-care professionals, no matter where they are. Developed at the University of Alberta by computing scientist Pierre…

As Canadians flee cities, rural living gets its mojo back

Pandemic has accelerated the flow of people fleeing cities, especially among young people

It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many Canadians to move from cities to the suburbs and even the countryside. According to Statistics Canada, the phenomenon led to a record loss of population in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in 2020. Vacancy rates are skyrocketing in many urban centres across the country. The same phenomenon…

Satellite breakthroughs will change internet delivery

Exciting times in the satellite industry

Satellite breakthroughs will change internet deliveryElon Musk’s Starlink low Earth orbit (LEO) network has been awarded US$885 million over 10 years to build out rural internet access in the U.S. This was the fourth largest amount awarded under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Testing of preliminary Starlink service recently began. This is a billion-dollar (almost) vote of confidence in…

Eliminating the rural-urban divide, one internet connection at a time

Many Canadians are fleeing cities only to realize how poorly serviced rural regions are in terms of internet access

Eliminating the rural-urban divide, one internet connection at a timeThey say food connects us all. So does the internet these days. Along with the provinces, the federal government says it is now on a path to give 98 per cent of the Canadian population access to high-speed internet by 2026. This is a much more ambitious target than the previous goal of 95 per…

Worse birth outcomes, higher pregnancy risk in poorest rural regions

Alberta researchers identify gradients of risk for preterm births, small and large size at birth, smoking and drug use by mothers

Worse birth outcomes, higher pregnancy risk in poorest rural regionsThe highest concentration of adverse birth outcomes and related maternal risk factors occur in rural areas of Alberta with the lowest socio-economic status, according to new research from the University of Alberta. “When it comes to perinatal health, postal code can be as important as your genetic code,” said perinatal epidemiologist Maria-Beatriz Ospina, assistant professor of obstetrics…
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