The Health Innovation Roundup, sponsored by Health City, is written and published weekly by Taproot Edmonton to bring you the latest news and events in research, technology, companies and people changing health for the better in Edmonton.

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Here are some highlights from this week’s Health Innovation Roundup:


      • University of Alberta Nobel laureate Dr. Michael Houghton has been appointed to the board of directors of U.S.-based clinical-stage biotechnology company Assembly Biosciences. Dr. Houghton will also serve as a member of the company’s science and technology committee.
      • Leduc-based PBG BioPharma has received a cannabis processing licence from Health Canada, which allows PBG to begin commercial-scale cannabis and hemp manufacturing operations immediately.
      • Edmonton-based AltaML announced a new partnership with Microsoft Canada to provide training and mentorship to students participating in an artificial intelligence-based program at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
      • The video-game-based MedBIKE fitness program, which was developed for pediatric heart patients at the U of A, has received a research innovation grant from the Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program (CNTRP).
      • new U of A study showed that a rare structure forms within RNA from the Zika virus, which “makes pieces of the viral genome remain in our cells” and hijack significant proteins that help those cells function properly. The results could potentially lead to a new drug to combat that virus and similar ones.
      • U of A nursing professor Sherry Dahlke is leading a Canada-wide project that tackles ageism in nursing. Dahlke’s research will test training modules she developed to educate nursing students about caring for older patients.
      • According to new findings by U of A researchers, Albertan firefighters who fought the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016 have persistent lung damage. Principal investigator Nicola Cherry said the ones with the highest exposure have long-term consequences.
      • Health specialists are advising Albertans to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid risks associated with exposure to smoke from wildfires in B.C. and Saskatchewan. Global News reported that it’s not uncommon for people to experience feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia-like symptoms.
      • Alberta Health Services is planning to move its Addiction Recovery Centre from downtown Edmonton into Alberta Hospital on the northeast outskirts of the city, reported CBC News. Advocates said relocating the detox centre “puts people at risk.”
      • The deadline for the 2021 Life Sciences State of the Industry Survey has been extended to July 23.


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