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New research on the Zika virus

  Further evidence is linking the Zika virus to fetal brain damage and now to serious neurological disease in adults. In the first paper researchers performed brain scans on 23 babies born to mothers thought to be infected with Zika. The scans revealed a majority of the babies had severe brain malformation and scar-like lesions […]

Restoring movement to a quadriplegic patient

Researchers have successfully restored some movement to the fingers, hand, and wrist of a quadriplegic patient by using recorded signals from his motor cortex, allowing him to perform daily living activities such as pouring from a bottle and stirring the contents. Systems that work by translating neural activity into signals for robotic devices, such as […]

The in-game view of Quantum Moves with an optical tweezer (the vertical blue line), and a single trapped atom denoted by the purple liquid above the blue line. The blue circle indicates where the players should touch the screen.  A movie showing the Quantum Moves game studied by the researchers is available to watch. (Image credit: ScienceAtHome)

Solving quantum physics problems with computer games

Computer gamers can teach quantum physicists a thing or two! At least according to  the results of a study using an online game platform called Quantum Moves, which presents problems in quantum physics as games. So far the games have been played 500,000 times by about 10,000 different players. The research confirmed that using the […]

Successfully creating insulin-producing beta cells in the lab

Researchers have created insulin-producing cells in a petri dish for the first time, moving closer to finding a potential cure for diabetes. The researchers discovered a switch that makes it “possible to produce a functional human beta cell that’s responding almost as well as the natural thing,” according to Ronald Evans, senior author and a […]

This is pretty crabby

Thousands of red crabs swarming in low-oxygen waters off the coast of Panama have been captured on video during a recent diving expedition. The crabs were identified by DNA as Pleuroncodes planipes, or Tuna Crabs, which have never been seen in waters so far south. The lead author, Jesús Pineda, said “when we dove down […]

STIs promote monogamy, but only in certain instances

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may have helped foster monogamy in some human societies, according to a new study. Researchers found that when a society is large the prevalence of STIs becomes endemic, reducing fertility rates and favouring the emergence of monogamists in society. However in smaller groups, with a maximum of 30 people, STI outbreaks […]

People with disease-causing mutations who remain mysteriously healthy

Researchers have identified 13 people who appear to be healthy, despite carrying genetic mutations associated with severe childhood disease. Researchers identified these individuals after performing genomic analysis on more than half a million people. The team believes their study provides a first step toward pinpointing genetic variants that may protect against childhood diseases currently thought to […]

Prenatal sex selection?

Indian-born women who already have two daughters are significantly more likely to have a son after moving to Canada, which the researchers and the author of an accompanying commentary believe shows “prenatal sex selection is likely present among first-generation immigrants to Canada from India and provide strong evidence that suggests induced abortions are being used […]

Call to use more fiber in fiber research studies

Eating more fiber may help restore diversity in our gut microbes, according to researchers at the University of Alberta. In a commentary the researchers advocate for strategically increasing dietary fiber intake to close the “fiber gap” most Westerners have in their diet. They pointed to evidence showing a more diverse microbial population benefits not only […]

Lentils, shown above in three different colour varieties, are one type of Pulse. Pulses are part of the legume family, however "pulse" only refers to the dried seed. (Image credit: Justin C)

Celebrate the International Year of the Pulse every day and who know’s what you’ll lose

  Eating just one serving of beans, peas, chickpeas, or lentils a day could help contribute to a modest weight loss, according to a meta-analysis of clinical trials. Researchers founding eating 130 grams (or ¾ of a cup) of the food group known as pulses each day led to just over half a pound of […]

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