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Low vitamin D levels associated with an increased risk of MS

Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in European populations, however whether vitamin D can delay or prevent the onset of MS requires further investigation, according to researchers. The authors used data from the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium study, which involves 14,498 people with multiple sclerosis and […]

Holding children and infants during vaccination can help to reduce stress and fear. (Image Credit: James Gathany, Judy Schmidt, USCDCP, via PublicDomainImages

New guidelines to reduce pain during vaccinations

New Canadian guidelines aim to reduce pain during vaccinations in both children and adults. Pain during the vaccination process can make children and adults hesitant to receive future immunizations. The guidelines update previous guidelines, published in 2010, and have been expanded to cover adults as well as children. The recommendations are designed to be used […]

Obstetricians and family doctors have equal outcomes for low-risk births

During low risk births, the risk of newborn death and maternal complications is similar for deliveries performed by family physicians and those performed by obstetricians, according to a new study. The authors note that these findings should only be applied to low-risk deliveries that could be safely performed by either a generalist or a specialist, […]

Tracing the family history of HIV

Lentiviruses, a group of retroviruses including HIV and SIV, the simian version of HIV, have been infecting primates as far back as 16 million years ago according to DNA sequencing. Researchers studied an antiviral gene called TRIM5 in 22 species of African primates. They found that a cluster of changes unique to the TRIM5 proteins […]

How to build a gas giant

Using computer simulations researchers have modeled the evolution of the gas giants in the Solar System, potentially providing an account for how the largest planets in our system formed. The study shows that when small centimeter- to meter-sized “pebbles” slowly accumulate they form planetesimals which become the cores of gas giants. It was previously thought […]

Two extinct species of the canid family, Hesperocyon (left) and Sunkahetanka (right) show the change in canid hunting styles as the species evolved due to climate change.

Dogs evolved with climate change

The evolution of North American dogs shows that evolution can be a direct consequence of climate change, and is not always associated with an “arms race” between ancient dogs and their prey. Researchers studied fossil elbows and teeth of 32 species of dogs from 40 million years to two million years ago, the same period when climate […]

Discovering how a new class of drugs works against super viruses

An emerging class of drugs, AMLPs (antimicrobial lipopeptides), shows promise in the fight against superbugs, yet until now researchers have lacked a molecular-level understanding of how they act. According to a new study AMLPs clump together to form microscopic balls called micelles, which selectively kill stick to bacterial membranes – a complex structure that is […]

The Amazillia amazillia is one species of hummingbird the researchers captured on film during the five years they monitored wild hummingbird feeding. (Image credit: Su Neko, Wikipedia Commons)

How hummingbirds drink: rethinking 50 years of research

High-speed videos have shown how hummingbirds feed on nectar, and it’s not what was previously thought. It’s not in the same way fluid rises in a capillary tube. Hummingbirds actually extract nectar by creating a tiny pump using the tongue. The new findings mean that fifty years of research studying how hummingbirds and floral nectar […]

The importance of health care in the federal election

In the upcoming federal election, health care must be a key issue otherwise Canada’s health care problems will continue, according an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Additionally the editorial calls on federal political parties to articulate clear policy platforms on health care. The Deputy Editor of the CMAJ, Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, says “the federal government […]

Saturn's F ring and two shepherd satellites (inner Prometheus and outer Pandora) seen by Cassini spacecraft. Saturn is to the right of the image. (Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

Explaining the origin of shepherd moons

The origin of “shepherd moons” in planetary rings such as those found on Saturn and Uranus may be a natural consequence of ring evolution around giant planets. Studying the two shepherd moons in Saturn’s F ring system, Prometheus and Pandora, researchers has found how these moons may form. Using computer simulated collisions between icy moonlets […]

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