SMCC Heads Up | December 4, 2018

$$ drive fentanyl crisis | Tool maps rare genes | Food smells and cravings | SMCC Heads Up – Embargoed and recently published research with a Canadian focus, curated by SMCC for science journalists. Read more>

(Photo credit: David D)

Moms’ emotional bonds with their babies after birth predicted during pregnancy

Child Development Published December 4, 2018 (News release from the Society for Research in Child Development) A strong bond between mothers’ and their babies are key to the children’s development, but this bond does not develop instantly. This study shows that responses to images of infants’ facial cues change over the course of pregnancy and early motherhood, […]

Soil compound fights chronic wasting disease

PLOS Pathogens Published November 29, 2018 (News release from PLOS) Researchers tested the role of a major soil organic matter compound, humic acid, for its ability to bind chronic wasting disease prions and impact infectivity. They found incubating the prions with high humic-acid concentrations decreased prion signal and infectivity in mice. Chronic wasting disease is fatal […]

33-million-year-old whale from Oregon had neither teeth nor baleen

Current Biology Published November 29, 2018 (News release from Cell Press) A 33-million-year-old fossil whale from Oregon had neither teeth nor baleen. Representing a surprising intermediate stage between modern filter-feeding whales and their toothed ancestors, Maiabalaena was a suction feeder. The findings suggest early whales lost their teeth before the evolutionary origin of comb-like baleen. Corresponding author: […]

More partners, more ranges: Plants who make friends with more soil bacteria spread more easily

Biology Letters Published November 28, 2018 Plants like legumes get nitrogen from bacteria they harbor in their roots, but to reap this benefit in new habitats they must find compatible bacteria there. Researchers combined data from a global database of legume ranges and DNA sequences of their bacteria and found that legumes that partner with diverse […]

SMCC Heads Up | November 27, 2018

Soil stumps prion disease | Ancient whale’s gummy grin | Benefits of being bacteria friendly | SMCC Heads Up – Embargoed and recently published research with a Canadian focus, curated by SMCC for science journalists. Read more>

Probiotics no help to young kids with stomach virus

New England Journal of Medicine: two papers Published November 21, 2018  17:00 ET (News release from Washington University, St. Louis) Children with stomach viruses increasingly are given probiotics to ease vomiting and diarrhea symptoms, but these two studies show that two commonly used probiotic formulas do not improve symptoms. Researchers evalutated the effectiveness of Culturelle (Lactobacillus […]

Sweetened drinks pose greater diabetes risk than other sugary foods

BMJ Published November 21, 2018  16:30 ET  Sweetened drinks pose a greater risk of type 2 diabetes than most other foods containing fructose, a naturally occurring sugar. The findings suggest that fruit and other foods containing fructose seem to have no harmful effect on blood glucose levels, while sweetened drinks and some other foods that add […]


Canadians’ and Americans’ Twitter language mirrors national stereotypes

PLOS ONE Published November 21, 2018  14:00 ET (News release from McMaster University) Differences in the language used in nearly 40-million tweets reflect national stereotypes – Canadians tend to be polite and nice while Americans are negative and assertive – even if the stereotypes aren’t accurate. Researchers isolated words, emoticons, and emojis used disproportionately on Twitter by […]

Negative social cues on tobacco packaging may help smokers quit

Journal of Consumer Affairs Published November 21, 2018  00:01 ET Tobacco packaging that reminds smokers that other people disapprove of the activity can trigger feelings of self-consciousness, which in turn reduces smoking intentions. This approach was particularly effective in ‘isolated’ smokers who did not see smoking as identity-relevant or congruent with their social self. Canadian co-author: Jennifer […]

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