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Global tree count: Seeing the forest through the trees

There are approximately three trillion trees in the world, according to density estimates of every continent except Antarctica, a number much larger than previous estimates of just over 400 billion trees. However their research also estimates that humans have cut down 46 per cent of the world’s trees since the beginning of human civilization. The […]

Need your umbrella? The history, and future, of weather prediction

Today’s weather forecasts are able to accurately predict the weather an extra day in advance, compared to a decade ago. The authors write that every decade has provided another day of accurate prediction to the weather forecasts; they believe that today’s 6-day forecast is as accurate as a 5-day forecast 10 years ago. In this […]

Weather impacts on insect gender

The gender of certain insects can be determined by the weather, and therefore influenced by climate change, according to new research. The authors believe this is the first study to show the effects of weather on insect gender. From 2008 to 2010 Researchers captured newly hatched weevils (Curculio elephas) after they emerged from the soil. […]

A new understanding of pig domestication

Domesticating the pig turns out to be more complicated than we thought. We used to think they were domesticated by isolating small populations and selectively breeding for certain traits, however this does not appear to be the case for pigs. By analyzing the genomes of over 600 domestic pigs and wild boars from Europe and […]

Arctic warming linked to cold winters in North America

Warming in certain areas of the Arctic can cause cold winters in North America and Asia according to climate model simulations. Researchers believe the findings may help improve the prediction of winter weather and extreme events in North America and East Asia. The results suggest that atypical warming in the Arctic Barents-Kara Sea precedes severe […]

Canadians receiving false positives for Lyme disease from U.S. labs

Canadians may receive false-positives for Lyme disease, from some commercial labs in the United States over half the time, according to an editorial in the CMAJ. Lyme disease, which is becoming more common in Canada, is spread by ticks and causes fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and if not treated, the infection can spread to joints, […]

A new “silent spring”

An editorial is calling the dumping of plastic waste into the ocean a new “silent spring”. “Silent spring” was a book written in the 1960s outlining the harmful effects of the overuse of pesticides on the environment. It was instrumental in raising public awareness of the potential dangers of pesticides. The authors of the paper […]

Dr. Jean-Marc Gagnon compares the new species of giant file clam (left) to a regular-sized file clam (right). (Image courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Nature)

New Giant Clam species discovered off Newfoundland coast

A new species of clam, the giant file clam (Acesta cryptadelphe) was discovered off the coast of Newfoundland. The species was first spotted over 30 years ago, and thanks to DNA analysis it has been confirmed as a new species. The species is so similar to the file clam that the scientists decided to name […]

An artist’s impression of Pentecopterus. (Image credit: Patrick Lynch - Yale University)

New species of giant sea scorpion

An ancient species of giant sea scorpion, Pentecopterus, which could grow up to six feet in length, has been identified after examining more than 150 fossil specimens of both adult and juvenile specimens. The fossils were uncovered in Iowa and lived approximately 460 million years ago. The species likely lived in a shallow mix of […]

Low vitamin D levels associated with an increased risk of MS

Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in European populations, however whether vitamin D can delay or prevent the onset of MS requires further investigation, according to researchers. The authors used data from the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium study, which involves 14,498 people with multiple sclerosis and […]

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