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Collision of two stars offers astronomers first glimpse of gravitational waves in visible light

Three months ago, two neutron stars in a galaxy 130 million light-years away from Earth collided with an explosion so powerful that, for the first time ever, astronomers were able to observe a cosmic event of this scale. It all started when scientists at LIGO/Virgo detected gravitational waves, which were at first thought to be […]

Battling blazes exposes firefighters to carcinogens

After putting out flames, firefighters face a four-fold risk of DNA damage, new research suggests. Previous studies have pointed to exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)—which release into the air as a result of burning of wood, plastics, furniture, electronics and other building materials—as a possible cause for higher rates of cancer among firefighters. The […]

These are fat cells (white circles) in healthy human bone marrow, left, compared to bone marrow in a patient with leukemia, right.
(Image courtesy McMaster University)

Fattening up fat cells can help fight leukemia

Boosting fat cells in the bone marrow helped suppress cancer cells while regenerating healthy blood cells, new research suggests. According to study authors, the present research is unique in its focus on the bone marrow as an ecosystem, which led to the identification of fat cells as a possible therapy target – instead of the […]

Genes of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Genetic variants associated with the obsessive-compulsive disorder, which affects over 80 million people around the world, have been pinpointed in a new study. Isolating and characterizing such genes may help researchers understand the underlying biology of OCD and develop treatments for this disease. Scientists analyzed sequencing data for 608 candidate genes, and identified four genes […]

(Image via  Pexels/CC0)

Big brains help cetaceans create complex, “human-like” societies

Cetaceans, such as dolphins and whales, have complex societies with behaviors that closely resemble human and primate relationships, new research suggests. In a first study of its kind, scientists have created a comprehensive database of brain sizes and behaviors in 90 species of dolphins, whales and porpoises. They found evidence of such complex social behaviors […]

(Image courtesy of Eric Norris)

Ibuprofen is better than morphine for children recovering from minor surgery

When it comes to pain relief and minimum side effects, ibuprofen is more suitable than oral morphine for children recovering from minor orthopedic surgery, results of a new clinical trial suggest. Researchers observed reaction to painkillers in 154 children aged 5 to 17 years who underwent minor orthopedic surgery, such as keyhole surgery on joints, […]

Few patients with kidney problems receive recommended follow-up care

Most patients hospitalized with acute kidney injury (AKI) don’t get the follow-up help recommended by specialists, according to a new study. Researchers asked 145 Canadian nephrologists about the factors that influence their likelihood to recommend follow-up for patients after a hospitalization with AKI. These responses were then compared with rates of community follow-up with nephrologists […]

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

Simulated copulation techniques reveal cetacean sex secrets

A new study helps examine how mechanical interactions during copulation influence the shape of genitalia and fertility in cetaceans. Researchers used samples of cetacean genitalia acquired after the animals’ natural cause death. The scientists inflated excised penises using a saline solution to simulate an erection, and studied its interaction with silicone endocasts of vaginas in […]

This schematic shows the settlement history of Newfoundland encompassing occupations by at least three distinct cultural groups: MA, Dorset Palaeoeskimo, and Beothuk.
(Produced by Deirdre Elliott with QGIS 2.18.44, and data from Stephen Hull and Natural Earth.)

Ancient DNA sheds light on the history of Newfoundland’s Indigenous settlements

A recent analysis of ancient DNA provides evidence in support of a theory that Newfoundland was populated several times by distinct cultural groups, specifically the Maritime Archaic and Beothuk. Researchers performed genetic analysis of 74 ancient remains, including ones from North America’s oldest burial mound. Their findings showed that the two Indigenous groups didn’t share […]

This chart shows a breakdown of hockey events likely to raise heart rate.
(Image via Canadian Journal of Cardiology)

Hockey provides spectators a hearty workout similar to vigorous physical stress

As the new hockey season kicks off, mind your heart: A new study suggests that watching hockey can cause significant cardiovascular stress, similar to that of moderate to vigorous physical exercise. Researchers observed two groups of sports fans using Holter monitors, with one group watching hockey games on TV and the other attending the games […]

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