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Alberta

Could an antiviral used to treat cat coronavirus hold key to treat COVID-19?

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U of A researchers study an antiviral used to treat cat coronavirus; can it be a treatment for COVID-19?

(Left to right) University of Alberta scientists Dr. Joanne Lemieux, with the Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, founding director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology and Dr. John Vederas with the Department of Chemistry are combining their labs’ efforts to test this viral inhibitor against the new coronavirus.

Scientists across Canada are racing on developing and implementing countermeasures to rapidly detect, manage, reduce the transmission, treat and to one day cure the COVID-19 virus. Since the start of March, the Canadian government has funded 96 different scientific projects totalling $52.6 million dollars in funding.

One of the funded studies by a group of University of Alberta scientists is getting extra attention from the general public. It is a study of an antiviral that is used to treat cats with a deadly feline coronavirus called, Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

Dr. Joanne Lemieux, with the U of A’s  Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, founding director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology and Dr. John Vederas with the Department of Chemistry are combining their labs’ efforts to test this viral inhibitor against the new coronavirus that is causing the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The trio’s labs are working 7-days a week come to some conclusions and to get results as fast as they can.

Read an extended story on this subject from the University of Alberta Folio’s by Gillian Rutherford.

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Link to read about the current 96 different scientific projects that received $52.6 million from the Canadian government since March 2020.

Alberta

WestJet’s 737 Max to be first to return to Canadian skies after global grounding

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CALGARY — WestJet says it will operate the first commercial flight of the Boeing 737 Max in Canada since the aircraft was cleared to fly again in Canadian airspace.

The flight will take off from Calgary on Thursday and land in Vancouver, where company executives will hold a press event, WestJet says.

Starting Jan. 22, WestJet plans to fly the Max three times weekly between Calgary and Toronto.

The Boeing 737 Max was grounded in Canada for nearly two years following two deadly crashes that investigators said was caused by a faulty sensor system.

The Canadian government lifted its grounding order for the Max on Jan. 20 after approving a number of changes to the airplane’s design, including allowing pilots to disable an alarm system found to be central to the crashes.

Max pilots will also be required to undergo additional training in flight simulators before they can operate the plane in Canadian airspace.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Aurora Cannabis lays off workers after signing new sales broker deal

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EDMONTON — Aurora Cannabis Inc. says it has laid off some workers after signing an agreement with an external sales broker.

The Edmonton-based cannabis company’s spokeswoman Michelle Lefler confirmed the cuts but wouldn’t disclose the number of staff impacted or what cities they were located in.

Lefler says the move was prompted by Aurora’s recent decision to hire Great North Distributors Inc. to represent the pot company in sales activities across Canada.

She says the agreement had an immediate impact on some jobs, while other employees will remain with the company for a set time.

Despite the layoff, Lefler says Aurora will keep a sales leadership team to work closely with provincial partners and other key stakeholders.

Aurora laid off almost 1,000 workers last year after it closed some of its facilities to streamline its operations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB)

The Canadian Press

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january, 2021

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