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Owerko Centre for Neurodevelopment and Child Mental Health

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A new research space at the University of Calgary officially opened on May 6, dedicated to studying neurodevelopment and child mental health including disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) and autism spectrum. The Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute will be home to researchers, clinician scientists and staff collaborating to better understand, diagnose and treat these conditions.


Small device opens big world for genetics research

A very small device is promising to bring big changes to genetics research. The new technology, nanopore sequencing, is being tested at the university’s Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), selected as one of the global research evaluation sites. Paul Gordon, PhD, is an ACHRI bioinformatics researcher who is among a consortium of international researchers given access last year to the device called the MinION. The device is capable of direct sequencing of very long DNA fragments with immediate results.

Prebiotic fibre and weight management

A study co-authored by Raylene Reimer shows that rats fed a high fat and sugar diet in conjunction with a prebiotic fibre had less weight gain than those which did not eat the fibre.  The study is published in the April edition of the journal Obesity. The team of researchers from the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and the Faculty of Kinesiology say this study helps scientists better understand the mechanisms of weight control and energy balance Listen to interview   View Video

BPA and its substitute alter brain growth, linked to hyperactivity: study

Deborah Kurrasch, PhD, is the lead researcher in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) which has provided evidence that BPA and BPS impair the growth of neurons in zebrafish. The findings are so worrying the lead researcher and her colleagues are calling for “removal of all bisphenols from consumer merchandise". 

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Child-friendly robots help kids cope with pain

Nine-year-old Aidan Sousa finds his hospital friend MEDi a reassuring presence during his frequent visits to the Alberta Children's Hospital. Tanya Beran, professor of Community Health Sciences, is studying how children experience as much as 50 per cent less pain when interacting with these aids.

Neurodevelopment and Child Mental Health Conference: June 19 - Register here>>