SMCC Webinar | Building Resilience to Climate Change: Evidence Based Strategies for Healthier Cities

Climate change is affecting Canada’s weather, changing not only the temperature, but also the quality of the air we breathe.  Evidence suggests these changes may pose a serious threat to public health, especially for certain vulnerable populations in urban areas. With over 80% of Canadians living in urban settings, there is an urgent need to […]


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(Graphical abstract by Lillie et al.)

How whale mouth nerves stretch to nearly double their length during feeding

Rorqual whales – a family of baleen whales that includes the biggest of the species, the fin and the blue whale –  take in an enormous amount of water and small prey during each feeding. In order to maximize each meal, they open their mouths wide and lunge towards the prey. In the process, the […]

Two strains isolated from the Nopiming Provincial Park Central Gold Mine tailings, grown in liquid culture.
(Image by Dr. Vladimir Yurkov)

Bacteria that break down toxic chemicals found in an abandoned gold mine

Little life is seen in environments with low oxygen content and high metalloid pollution. The microorganisms that do survive in such extreme conditions are incredibly helpful to scientists, who can use the bacteria’s natural reduction of toxic materials to clean up heavily polluted areas. Such bacteria were recently discovered in an old Manitoba gold mine, […]

Virus shells can help deliver helpful drugs to cancer cells

Virus cells are incredibly efficient at delivering their cargo to the host cells, usually to the host’s detriment. But new research is attempting to utilize this viral trait for the better, by packaging salubrious things into conducive virus shells. Researchers copied the core protein shell of the Bluetongue virus using plant matter, which is a […]

Early increase in brain growth may help determine autism risk in infants

Rapid increase in brain volume in the first year of a baby’s life, when compared to other infants,  may help predict an early autism diagnosis. A small neuroimaging study was able to accurately predict the infants who were at a high risk of developing autism by 24 months. To arrive at these predictions, researchers measured […]

Brains at the crossroads: Motor neurons always map out several possibilities

Even if you’re already following a path after coming to a fork in the road, your brain may still be preparing for an alternative scenario. Results of a new study provide evidence that motor neurons are continuously working to translate information from the visual systems into action. Previous research has hinted that the brain’s motor […]

This is a reconstruction of Dinocephalosaurus showing the rough position of the embryo within the mother.
(Image by Dinghua Yang)

First evidence of a Middle Triassic dinosaur that gave birth to live offspring instead of laying eggs

A new discovery offers proof that an ancient relative to birds and crocodiles gave birth to live young. New research from an international team of paleontologists describes a fossil of a pregnant Dinocephalosaurus – a long-necked, aquatic reptile from the Middle Triassic. The 245- million-year-old archosauromorph carried an embryo inside its rib cage, facing forward. […]

green bottle fly

Female flies’ flashy flirtation reveals important information to their mates

A flash of a wing in sunlight contains all that a male green bottle fly looking for love needs to know about its potential mate. Results of a new analysis of female green bottle flies shows that they can communicate their sex, age, and even their level of interest by adjusting their wing beat, or […]

Survival rate of African penguins is decreasing, thanks to overfishing and anthropogenic climate change (Image by SANCCOB)

Thanks to climate change, baby African penguins are looking for food in the wrong places

For hundreds of years, young African penguins came of age by travelling long distances to southern Angola and South Africa’s Western Cape in search of food. Certain signs, like lower sea surface temperatures and higher chlorophyll concentrations, have reliably led young penguins to areas abundant in anchovies and sardines. But recent changes in climate and […]

Hip swing and asymmetric movements of the thighs and arms are all traits of a good dancer, according to the respondents (et al.)

Bust a (scientifically superior) move

Believe it or not, there seems to be a formula for being a good dancer. According to a new study, it’s all about the degree of hip swing and moving thighs and arms in an asymmetrical manner. To distill this formula, researchers asked 39 women to dance to a simple drum beat and recorded their […]


Music for your ears – drugs for your brain?

The same brain chemicals that are responsible for our enjoyment of recreational drugs, sex, and food are also involved in the experience of getting pleasure from listening to music. In order to find out more about the brain’s pleasure circuits’ involvement in music perception, researchers blocked the release of natural opioids in the participants’ brains […]

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