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Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan | SMCC Backgrounder

The Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) was launched in 2006 as a joint initiative of Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada. The plan was designed to assess and manage chemical substances with the help of existing federal chemical programs. SMCC’s backgrounder on Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan describes the key programs for research and monitoring […]

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SMCC Webinar: New Strategies for Tracking Climate Change in Canada’s North

There has never been a more urgent time to study climate change. Average Arctic temperatures have increased at nearly twice the global average in the past 100 years. The extent of Sea ice is also at its lowest levels since records were kept.  As temperatures rise and sea ice retreats, Canada’s north is already experiencing […]

Shinta, a Northern Goshawk, wore a head-mounted camera to assist with a study on raptor hunting behavior. (Image by R. Musters)

Hawks and humans could be using similar visual cues during search

While humans may not have the hawk’s amazing eyesight, a new study suggests that both hawks and humans use similar visual techniques for search. To better understand the scanning techniques of a hawk, researchers mounted a camera on the head of a Northern Goshawk. Combined with footage of hunting raptors, gathered from the ground, authors […]

Sputnik Planitia (the left lobe of Pluto's "heart") likely formed in the aftermath of comet impact into Pluto. Sputnik Planitia formed northwest of its present location, and reoriented to its present location as the basin filled with volatile ices. 
(Credit: Illustration by James Tuttle Keane)

What made Pluto roll over? Sputnik Planitia may hold the answer

A heart-shaped region on the surface of Pluto, called Sputnik Planitia, is at the centre of two theories about the dwarf planet’s reorientation. New studies suggest than as Sputnik Planitia filled with ice, it changed Pluto’s position. There are two theories as to why that happened. One posits that the ice accumulation has changed tidal […]

New monitoring technique uses eDNA to learn about deepwater fish populations

Monitoring populations of polar and deepwater fish can be challenging due to their remote and often inaccessible habitats. A new study used a non-invasive analysis of environmental DNA in seawater samples to learn about several species of fish off the coast of Southwest Greenland. The researchers then compared eDNA analysis results to catch data by […]

The effect of European settlement on the immune system genes of Canadian First Nations population

Changes in immune system genes of First Nations people in coastal British Columbia may be linked to epidemics associated with the arrival of Europeans in early 19th century.  A new study analyzes DNA samples from individuals in modern-day Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla First Nations, as well as DNA from individuals who inhabited the region as […]

Beluga whale (Image by Tim CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

As sea-ice melts, beluga whale migration patterns change

Every year in the summer, belugas swim to a predetermined spot to moult, feed and mate. But the melting and subsequent shifts in sea-ice could get in the way of the whales’ vital trek. A new study analyzes data from a 20-year span to study how shifting ice patterns influence beluga migration. Researchers found that […]

(Image via Unsplash under CC0)

Exploring the math behind the perfect cup of coffee

What makes the perfect brew? Some may say it’s the coffee beans; others will argue it’s the roast or the grind of those beans; others yet will point to the brewing methods. Now, a group of researchers investigated the mathematics of the drip filter brewing system, looking at the numbers behind such brewing elements as […]

Bird droppings responsible for a small but much-needed dip in Arctic temperature

Droppings from migratory seabirds are linked to cloud formation in the Arctic, offering a small cooling effect in the region. Clouds have offered a respite from rapid rise in Arctic temperatures, but previously there wasn’t much information available about the source of cloud growth. Using a combination of observations and computer modelling, a team of […]

The brain-spine interface uses a brain implant like this one to detect spiking activity of the brain’s motor cortex. Grégoire Courtine holds up a microelectrode array and a silicon model of a primate’s brain. (Image by Alain Herzog / EPFL)

New device puts paralyzed monkeys back on their feet

A new device can get a paralyzed monkey back on its feet and walking, less than a week after a spinal cord injury. The device acts as an interface between the brain and the spine. It helps deliver signals from the motor cortex to electrodes implanted in the lower part of the spinal cord. But […]

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