Prussian carp swimming in a shallow pond. (Image by Tatyana Bulyonkova via Flickr)

How the invasive Prussian carp change Canadian freshwater ecosystems

After the presence of invasive non-native species of Prussian carp was confirmed in Alberta, scientists explored the species’ effect on the local freshwater ecosystems. In the present study, authors describe the carps’ impact on fish communities and benthic invertebrate communities, as well as evaluate whether the carp alter abiotic conditions in the regions where they are abundant. Their findings […]

Ancient Mars thawed by methane bursts

Scientists have found an explanation for periodic wet climates on Mars—an otherwise frozen planet—which account for evidence of past lakes contained in the planet’s sediment.. According to new research, it’s likely that the planet is sometimes warmed by bursts of methane that’s trapped under Mars’ subsurface. Like on Earth, methane can be stored in Martian […]

Kidney organoids grown in the lab and suspended in a lab dish show the formation of cysts (right) in the disease model of polycystic kidney disease. Normal kidney organoids are on the left.
(Image via Freedman Lab/UW Medicine)

Lab-grown kidneys help scientists understand renal health

Researchers can now successfully track the early stages of polycystic kidney disease in lab-grown mini-kidneys, which mimic the full-grown human organs. This is the first time scientists are able to track the progress of this renal disease, which affects 12 million people, in a laboratory setting. The mini-kidneys were grown using human stem cells. Researchers have […]

A warm little pond on present day Earth on the Bumpass Hell trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park in California.
(Image by Ben K.D. Pearce, McMaster University)

Vital chemicals deposited into small ponds by meteorites deemed responsible for life on Earth

Scientists found new evidence to support the “warm little ponds” theory of the beginnings of life on Earth, which puts the ponds as a top candidate for the initial favorable conditions for the appearance of living organisms. The new paper places the emergence of life into the process of Earth’s formation, while the planet was still being pelted […]

MIxT identifies links between molecular processes in breast cancer tumors and blood cells.
(Image by Vanessa Dumeaux CC-BY)

New software tool links breast cancer, immune system processes

Researchers have developed a new software tool that examines various gene expressions in different body tissues. Using this tool, they found an association between breast cancer tumor cells and immune system cells in the bloodstream. In particular, researchers found that molecular processes vary with subtypes: for example, immune system-suppressing processes operating in conjunction with certain […]


A tadpole early-warning system that develops with experience

New research suggests that tadpoles use previous dangerous encounters to determine whether to heed the warnings of others. These warnings take the form of chemical cues the scientists call “disturbance cues”, which are produced while prey escape a predator. These may be used to signal predation risk to other prey nearby. Researchers exposed wood frog tadpoles […]

Image via Pexels under CC0

How delivery method and early diet influences infant gut microbiomes

In recent research, scientists have been exploring the important role intestinal microbiomes play in the diets and food intolerances of entire populations. Much of this bacterial make-up in the intestines is formed within the first year of life. What happens within that first year is explored in the present study, where researchers observed changes to gut bacteria […]

Birds with big brains are more likely to explore new habitats

Scientists have long questioned whether there is any correlation between brain size and cognitive ability in various animal species. One theory often explored in this field is the cognitive buffer hypothesis, which explains bigger brain size by the adaptive benefits to respond quickly to sudden, rapid changes in the environment. A new study tests out […]

Organ donations in Ontario increased significantly over past 10 years after policy change

Organ donations have increased by 57% in Ontario after a new donation policy was implemented in 2006. The new policy allowed for donation of organs after circulatory determination of death (DCD), replacing the old rule that called for donations only after neurologic determination of death, or brain death, has been established. DCD donations have expanded […]

Newly discovered molecule can give HIV/AIDS a kick in the gut

Researchers have identified a molecule inside the gut flora that can help block the replication of HIV and prevent chronic illnesses associated with the virus. Existing antiretroviral (ART) therapies can significantly decrease viral loads, which is effective in preventing evolution of the infection towards Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). But HIV is more difficult to target, […]

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