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Adult ivory gull feeding on a seal carcass, Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada, 10 June 1989. (Photo credit: Keith Hobson)

Mercury in endangered Ivory Gull feathers reach a 130-year record high

Ivory Gulls have declined by more than 80 per cent in Canada since the 1980s and have been listed as an endangered species in Canada since 2006. These gulls have the highest concentrations of mercury in their eggs of any Arctic bird, but the reason for their decline is not well understood. Researchers measured mercury […]

Hummingbirds’ short and stubby wings could help scientists improve drones’ stability. (Photo credit: Dave Wilson, flickr.com)

Hummingbirds could improve drones’ stability

Albatrosses, airplanes, and helicopters all share long narrow wings which provide good aerodynamic efficiency. In contrast the wings of hummingbirds are short and stubby. Conventional aerodynamic theory predicts this should makes them inefficient. In a new study, researchers resolved some of the contradiction by finding that while slender wings are indeed most efficient at a […]

Old-growth forests showed no difference in recruitment rates for new trees due to the lack of unoccupied canopy and ground space. (Image credit: Glenn Scofield Williams, flickr.com)

For a tree out west it’s all about the competition

  A study of forests in Western Canada has revealed the forces shaping and changing the make up of a forest over time, are primarily competition among trees, with climate playing a secondary role. Researchers studied data collected between 1958 and 2009 in 1,680 forest plots from British Columbia to Manitoba. They found that competition […]

Universal pharmacare could save Canada billions each year

Using data quantifying Canadian prescription drug use and spending, researchers believe that Canada could save up to $9.4 billion a year by switching to a universal pharmacare program. The researchers analysed prescription drug data from the 2012-2013 fiscal year and determined that if Canada were to switch to a universal program, the economic savings would […]

Over-the-counter cough medicine with dextromethorphan could help people with Type 2 diabetes. (Photo credit: Dome Poon, flickr.com)

Cough medicine could help diabetic patients

Dextromethorphan, sold in Canada as an ingredient of the over-the-counter cough medicine Robitussin and Bronchophan Forte DM, could help in regulating type 2 diabetes according to a new study. In mice, this medicine was found to improve glucose control, while in a small human clinical trial (20 men with Type 2 diabetes) the researchers found it […]

No deaths from acute kidney injury by 2025

  Preventable deaths caused by acute kidney injury (also known as acute renal failure) could be eliminated in just 10 years according to an international commission of kidney experts. This condition, which sees an abrupt loss of kidney function within a week, affects 20 per cent of North Americans admitted to hospitals, around 13 million […]

Healthy life, healthy mind

Healthy eating, exercising, and brain-training may be able to slow down cognitive decline in at risk individuals according to a new study. Researchers performed a randomised control trial of 1,260 people between 60 and 77 years old who were considered at risk for dementia. Individuals in the control group were given only regular health advice, […]

Earliest known giant filter-feeding sea creature

New fossils from Morocco represent the earliest known giant filter-feeding sea creature, Aegirocassis benmoulae. These creatures could exceed two meters in length and fed on plankton much the same way modern whales do. Scientists think the animals went extinct because there was not enough plankton at the time (around 450 million years ago) to allow […]

Younger immigrants in Canada at higher risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease

The younger an immigrant is when he or she arrives in Canada, the higher their risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis according to new research. The study found that the children of immigrants from some areas of the world have a 14% increased risk of developing IBD […]

Hormone therapy and heart diseases

Hormone replacement therapy does not protect post-menopausal women against cardiovascular diseases, an updated meta-analysis shows. Furthermore, hormone therapy does cause a slight increased risk of stroke. The authors of the study took into account new results from clinical trials that lasted between six months and 10 years, in which 40,000 women (mainly over 60 years […]

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