Plaque deposit is visible on the rear molar (right) of this Neandertal. (Image by Paleoanthropology Group MNCN-CSIC)

Details of a Neanderthal’s diet revealed through ancient plaque

Good thing our Neanderthal cousins didn’t have a good brushing regimen, because what’s left of their dental plaque allows us to know more about their diets, habits, and diseases. New research sequenced DNA from the plaque of five Neanderthal specimens. The findings revealed that Neanderthal diets varied greatly from region to region: for example, the individual from […]

This is an MRI of a person with multiple sclerosis. White areas show permanent scarring caused by the disease. (Image by UBC)

“Liberation therapy” not an effective MS treatment

Expanding narrow veins from the brain and spinal cord is not effective in treating multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new research coming out of British Columbia. The invasive surgical procedure, called “liberation therapy”, is performed by inserting a catheter into the vein and pushing out the vessel walls by inflating a small balloon. Thousands of […]

Life male holotype of Pristimantis attenboroughi. (Image by Dr. Edgar Leh)

Tiny Peruvian frog is the first amphibian named after Sir David Attenborough

What do Gabonese flowering plants, flightless weavils and a black-eyed satyr butterfly species all have in common? All these recently discovered species were named in honour of the British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. But no amphibians to date bore the famous BBC broadcaster’s name. The honour goes to a newly discovered freshbelly frog […]


How exercise helps your cells stay young

Researchers have zeroed in on the benefits of exercise on a cellular level. A new study describes how high-intensity interval training (HIIT), such as biking and walking, helps cells make more proteins for their energy-producing mitochondria and their protein-building ribosomes. The upkeep of mitochondria and ribosomes effectively slows down aging at the cellular level. The […]

Seniors with dementia living in care facilities tend to have multiple chronic illnesses

Seniors with dementia tend to have a few other chronic illnesses, which increases the frequency of hospitalizations and emergency department visits. As life expectancy increases, new strategies must be created to address the unique needs of the aging population. Authors of a new retrospective study analyzed data collected in 2012 from 30,112 home-care clients with […]

80% of the world’s oceans would be affected by climate change by 2050

Four-fifths of the world’s marine ecosystems will be irreversibly damaged by 2050 if no immediate action is taken, a new study concludes. Researchers ran simulations to determine the effect of climate change on the main stressors of the ocean’s ecosystems—such as pH, temperature, oxygen concentration and food availability. If conditions remain as they are, in […]

Chalconatronite [Na2Cu(CO3)2·3H2O], discovered in Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. (RRUFF)

208 new minerals, including two discovered in Canada, formed due to human activity

  Human activity has been the cause of an immense number of changes on our planet; not the least of which is the development of new minerals, to which humans contributed more than any other event since the rise of oxygen on Earth over 2 billion years ago. A new study catalogs 208 minerals formed […]

Two killer whales (Image by Kenneth Balcomb, Center for Whale Research)

What allows killer whales to see in underwater darkness?

While humans aren’t great at night vision, most of us can make out various objects in dim light thanks to a special light-sensitive protein rhodopsin. This chemical plays a much bigger role in the visual systems of ocean dwellers like whales, who travel through places where little light penetrates the depths of the water. A new study […]

This iron-rich and silica-rich rock from Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt, Québec, Canada, contains tubular and filamentous microfossils.
(Image by Dominic Papineau)

Evidence of earliest life on Earth found in northeastern Canada

The earliest living organisms on Earth are thought to have lived in hydrothermal vents underwater. Researchers analyzed jasper rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq belt in Quebec that may have originated from such submarine vents, and found evidence of structures similar to other bacterial life in Earth’s early oceans. Authors say there are additional signs of biological activity […]


Genes dictate attachment in early-childhood development

Few things play a bigger role in a child’s development than the bond with their mother in their early days. But it turns out that the strength of that bond is determined genetically. Such are the results of an international study involving over 400 mother-child pairs. Scientistscollected genetic information and behavioral data from the infants. Half of the mothers […]

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