A scanning electron micrograph of 6 tardigrades in their tun state. When tardigrades dry out, they retract their legs and heads within their cuticle, forming a ball-like 'tun.' (Image by T.C. Boothby)

Moss piglets’ secret survival weapon

Tardigrades are among the most resilient species on the planet: they can survive in the deep sea, in nearly-absolute zero temperatures, and even in space. Also known as water bears or moss piglets, their survival in the most extreme of conditions has been mind-boggling for generations of scientists. Now, researchers believed they have solved a […]

Climate shaped the evolution of the human nose

It looks like temperature and humidity of a region may have stuck their noses in the evolution of the human smelling organ. Researchers examined the size and shape of noses on people of West African, South Asian, East Asian, and Northern European descent. They say the discovered differences are too great to have occurred on chance […]

(Pixabay CC0)

Biofuels help reduce emissions from airplanes at cruise conditions

A mixture of biofuel and conventional fuel reduces airplane emissions by 50 to 70% compared to conventional fuel, according to the first ever in-flight study of biofuel aerosol emissions. Researchers measured aerosol emissions from an aircraft flying behind the test plane, a technique that provided more accurate results than ground tests. Aerosols released by plane engines in-flight […]

(Gervasi and Schiestl)

Plant evolution is influenced by pollinator species

In just 11 generations of pollination by two different species, plant evolution diverged drastically in height, flower fragrance, flower colour, and reliance on the pollinator for reproduction. A new study was conducted in a greenhouse instead of in the field in order to create an experimental system. Researchers observed how the plant Brassica rapa evolved when […]

X-ray tomographic picture (false colors) of fossil thread-like red algae. (Image by Stefan Bengtson)

1.6 billion-year-old red algae found in fossils

World’s oldest plant-like fossils, which the scientists believe are ancient red algae, were discovered in sedimentary rocks at Chitrakoot in central India. It’s difficult to ascertain that the fossils are, in fact, red algae, since there is no DNA material present, but researchers say the structure of the cells are consistent with this ancient plant […]

Cystic fibrosis patients live 10 years longer in Canada than U.S.

A recent analysis of over 50,000 cystic fibrosis cases in U.S. and Canada revealed than the median survival age is greater in Canada by approximately ten years. Additionally, the risk of death was lower by 34% in Canada, after taking age and severity of disease into account. Researchers say the scope of their study didn’t […]


When did bison arrive in North America?

The bison’s arrival in North America from Asia was an ecologically significant event, but its timeline remained a mystery—until now. The mystery started to unravel when researchers found a bison fossil dating about 130,000 years old in northern Yukon—the oldest known fossil of the large mammal in North America. They compared the genomes of the […]

(Image by Bahramian et al.)

Scientists observe star in closest orbit around a black hole

In a cluster of stars 14,800 light years away from Earth, one star is involved in the closest orbital dance with a black hole ever observed, circling the black hole twice in an hour. This could be the tightest orbital distance between a black hole and a white dwarf star in the Milky Way, with […]


SMCC Webinar: Water in a Changing Climate

Water is our lifeline and also a humbling force of nature. As the climate changes, the decisions we make today regarding water will determine our country’s success over the coming decades. SMCC in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada brought together researchers and policy makers to describe what the future may hold for this essential […]

Plaque deposit is visible on the rear molar (right) of this Neandertal. (Image by Paleoanthropology Group MNCN-CSIC)

Details of a Neanderthal’s diet revealed through ancient plaque

Good thing our Neanderthal cousins didn’t have a good brushing regimen, because what’s left of their dental plaque allows us to know more about their diets, habits, and diseases. New research sequenced DNA from the plaque of five Neanderthal specimens. The findings revealed that Neanderthal diets varied greatly from region to region: for example, the individual from […]

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