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SMCC Webinar | Building Resilience to Climate Change: Evidence Based Strategies for Healthier Cities

Climate change is affecting Canada’s weather, changing not only the temperature, but also the quality of the air we breathe.  Evidence suggests these changes may pose a serious threat to public health, especially for certain vulnerable populations in urban areas. With over 80% of Canadians living in urban settings, there is an urgent need to […]

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Survival rate of African penguins is decreasing, thanks to overfishing and anthropogenic climate change (Image by SANCCOB)

Thanks to climate change, baby African penguins are looking for food in the wrong places

For hundreds of years, young African penguins came of age by travelling long distances to southern Angola and South Africa’s Western Cape in search of food. Certain signs, like lower sea surface temperatures and higher chlorophyll concentrations, have reliably led young penguins to areas abundant in anchovies and sardines. But recent changes in climate and […]

Hip swing and asymmetric movements of the thighs and arms are all traits of a good dancer, according to the respondents (et al.)

Bust a (scientifically superior) move

Believe it or not, there seems to be a formula for being a good dancer. According to a new study, it’s all about the degree of hip swing and moving thighs and arms in an asymmetrical manner. To distill this formula, researchers asked 39 women to dance to a simple drum beat and recorded their […]

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Music for your ears – drugs for your brain?

The same brain chemicals that are responsible for our enjoyment of recreational drugs, sex, and food are also involved in the experience of getting pleasure from listening to music. In order to find out more about the brain’s pleasure circuits’ involvement in music perception, researchers blocked the release of natural opioids in the participants’ brains […]

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The switch from smoking to e-cigarettes better for health

E-cigarettes might make for a healthier alternative to smoking after all, according to the results of a first-of-its-kind long-term study. Researchers compared the intake of potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarette users to that of people using nicotine patches and combustible (regular) cigarettes. Their findings suggest that the switch to e-cigarettes significantly reduced the subjects’ carcinogenic […]

Shift work and physically demanding labour linked to lower fertility in women

Working outside the regular office hours, working irregular shifts and doing heavy lifting at work could lower a woman’s ability to conceive. These are the findings of the first study to ever examine the impact of workplace conditions on a woman’s biological capacity to have a baby. Researchers monitored a number of indicators in 473 […]

Winter sun over the Rockies (Image by Sleep and Chronobiology Lab, University of Colorado Boulder)

For better sleep, spend more time in the sun – even in the winter

Shorter days and cooler temperatures prevent us from spending as much time outdoors in the winter than we do in the summer. But new research suggests that better sleep in the winter requires spending more time outside. Recent data suggest that, thanks to our modern lifestyles, our light exposure in the winter is reduced by […]

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Careful, that cool soccer ball trick can cause a concussion

Concussions are a common injury among competitive team sport players, but previous studies have suggested the biggest risk comes from direct head impact with another player or a goal post. A new survey of amateur soccer players shows that heading—deflecting the ball with one’s head—can increase the risk of concussion symptoms. 45% of respondents have […]

A small percentage of genes determine much of our height

How tall we are is largely determined by our genetic makeup, and much of that is inherited. But a recent study reveals that there are 80 genetic variants (alleles) that occur at lower frequency, but have a significant effect on the individual’s height – up to 2 centimetres of height per allele, which is ten […]

(Ariana Sutton-Grier)

Coastal wetlands help soak up harmful greenhouse gases

  A new study suggests that coastal wetland ecosystems such as mangrove forests, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows are great at mitigating negative effects of greenhouse gases. To study how effectively each marine ecosystem utilizes greenhouse gases, researchers evaluated how CO2 is stored within the system and for how long. Their estimations suggest that mangrove […]

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