Probiotics no help to young kids with stomach virus

New England Journal of Medicine: two papers Published November 21, 2018  17:00 ET (News release from Washington University, St. Louis) Children with stomach viruses increasingly are given probiotics to ease vomiting and diarrhea symptoms, but these two studies show that two commonly used probiotic formulas do not improve symptoms. Researchers evalutated the effectiveness of Culturelle (Lactobacillus […]

Sweetened drinks pose greater diabetes risk than other sugary foods

BMJ Published November 21, 2018  16:30 ET  Sweetened drinks pose a greater risk of type 2 diabetes than most other foods containing fructose, a naturally occurring sugar. The findings suggest that fruit and other foods containing fructose seem to have no harmful effect on blood glucose levels, while sweetened drinks and some other foods that add […]


Canadians’ and Americans’ Twitter language mirrors national stereotypes

PLOS ONE Published November 21, 2018  14:00 ET (News release from McMaster University) Differences in the language used in nearly 40-million tweets reflect national stereotypes – Canadians tend to be polite and nice while Americans are negative and assertive – even if the stereotypes aren’t accurate. Researchers isolated words, emoticons, and emojis used disproportionately on Twitter by […]

Negative social cues on tobacco packaging may help smokers quit

Journal of Consumer Affairs Published November 21, 2018  00:01 ET Tobacco packaging that reminds smokers that other people disapprove of the activity can trigger feelings of self-consciousness, which in turn reduces smoking intentions. This approach was particularly effective in ‘isolated’ smokers who did not see smoking as identity-relevant or congruent with their social self. Canadian co-author: Jennifer […]


Little evidence that e-cigs are prompting young people in the U.S. to start smoking

Tobacco Control Published November 20, 2018  18:30 ET (News release from BMJ) Although trying e-cigarettes (vaping) may prompt some young people to turn to traditional cigarettes (smoking), according to this analysis of national data, that does not occur at the population level. The downward trend in traditional smoking among young people in the U.S. accelerated after vaping became widespread in 2013. […]

SMCC Heads Up | November 20, 2018

Traffic pollution vs autism | Smoking down; vaping up | Probiotics vs stomach bugs | SMCC Heads Up – Embargoed and recently published research with a Canadian focus, curated by SMCC for science journalists. Read more>

African elephant (Loxodonta africana), nyala (Tragelaphus angasii), and warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) gathering at a waterhole at Tembe Elephant Park, which is a protected area part of the Maputaland Pondoland Albany global biodiversity hotspot. (Credit: Enrico Di Minin)

Adaptation, speciation, and extinction in the Anthropocene 

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Published November 14, 2018  17:01 ET (Brief from the Royal Society) Humans have altered the course of species evolution across the planet. The direction and magnitude of selection has changed to favour organisms that best tolerate human-caused development, harvesting, species introductions, and environmental changes. Species that are large-bodied, specialist, […]

Researchers identify a new superkingdom-level lineage within eukaryotes

Nature Published November 14, 2018 13:00 ET The genetic and evolutionary analyses reported here place Hemimastigophora outside of all established eukaryote supergroups. The researchers argue that, based on the evolutionary distinctiveness of this group, the organisms instead comprise an independent supra-kingdom-level lineage. The researchers also established the first culture of a hemimastigote, which will facilitate future […]


Large babies born to diabetic moms have triple the risk of obesity

Diabetologia Published November 13, 2018  18:00 ET (News release from Diabetologia) New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) shows that In a study that analysed 81,226 kids born between January 2005 and August 2013 in Alberta, rates of being overweight or obese in childhood were highest in large-at-birth children born […]

Pharmacist-led intervention reduces inappropriate prescriptions for older adults

JAMA Published November 13, 2018  11:00 ET (Summary video from JAMA Network) Pharmacist-led educational interventions help reduce the number of prescriptions for inappropriate medication among older adults. More than 40 per cent of patients receiving educational intervention provided by pharmacists ended inappropriate prescriptions within six months, compared to 12 per cent of patients who received usual care. […]

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