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A close-up image of three shed bed-bug skins, the protective layer which helps protect the bugs from insecticides. (Image credit: Louis Sorkin)

How bed bugs beat insecticides

By analysing and sequencing the genome of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, researchers have identified genes associated with insecticide resistance. Over the last 20 years the bed bug has developed abilities which limit the effectiveness of insecticides. Researchers hope their findings will help uncover mechanisms of insecticide resistance. The bugs have certain proteins in their […]

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) if native to Northern and Western Canada, and can be found in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, and parts of Alberta. (Image credit: Ole Fröbert).

How bears gain weight without getting obese

Bears eat intensively to put on weight for winter hibernation but don’t seem to suffer the negative health effects of obesity, thanks to the microbiota in their digestive tract. By analyzing fecal samples researchers found the microbiota in a bear’s digestive tract changes when the bear is preparing for hibernation. The researchers believe some of […]

Women and the empathic yawn

It’s called yawn contagion, the need to yawn when you see someone else yawning. Increasingly it’s recognized as an empathy based response. Now, new research not only supports that notion but has found that women are more likely to contagiously yawn, than men. The authors of the paper observed people for five years during their […]


The resilience of tropical forests

  Tropical rainforests that regrow after deforestation take up carbon more quickly than established forests and recover most of their biomass within decades, according to research on forests in Central and South America. Until now the recovery rate of these forests was unknown, hindering reliable estimates of their ability to absorb and store atmospheric carbon. […]

Lab in a suitcase provides real-time monitoring of Ebola

Testing the DNA of the Ebola virus on-site in the field in less than a day is now possible thanks to a new system developed by researchers. Real-time genomic surveillance will provide information on the virus and its rate of evolution – as well as characterizing its response to treatments and vaccines. The kit weighs […]


Ravens on their mind

Ravens possess the “Theory of Mind”, or the ability to predict the mental state of others, according to a new study. This is the first time the “Theory of Mind” has been confirmed in an animal other than humans or non-human primates. The researchers fed individual ravens in an enclosed study area, while playing raven […]

Shared semantic structure between human languages

Human languages share a common semantic structure regardless of the regional environment in which a language evolved, according a study of 81 languages. The authors believe concepts expressed in language may arise from universal properties of human cognition. Examining how words are related to other words in a language revealed a universal semantic network. For […]

The secret to impacting policy

Environmental researchers can increase their influence on policy by increasing their outreach, according to researchers. Consulting with greater numbers of stakeholders during the research process increases how legitimate researchers are seen, regardless of how knowledgeable they are perceived as. Lead author Stephen Posner of the University of Vermont said “our results suggest that decision-makers are […]

Two endangered Southern Resident killer whales rise in unison from the Salish Sea as a tanker passes through their habitat. (Image credit:

Shipping noises potentially harming Vancouver Island’s Killer Whales

New findings suggest noise from ships overlaps frequencies used for communication and foraging by orcas, potentially affecting the endangered Southern Resident orcas living in the waters around Vancouver Island, B.C. The researchers found container ships created the highest levels of background noise at frequencies below 20,000 Hz, and military vessels typically had some of the […]

If you’re a morning-person or night-owl the answer could lie in your genes

Being a morning-person or a night-owl may depend on your genes according to a study of nearly 90, 000 individuals. Participants were asked whether they preferred waking-up and going to bed early, or whether they preferred staying-up late and sleeping in. Their DNA was then analyzed. Researchers found specific genetic variations they think could be […]

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