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Polar bears, like these photographed near Hudson Bay in 2010, are in jeopardy due to decreasing ice cover in Canada’s Arctic Archipelago. (Photo credit: Stephen Hamilton)

Melting ice could jeopardize 25% of polar bears by 2100

A new study suggests that if arctic warming trends continue, a quarter of the world’s polar bears will be unable to survive by 2100. The study uses a climate model to create detailed projections for the ice cover in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the series of islands and channels that dominate the far North of […]

Chickadees can resist cold down to -10°C

Black-capped chickadees’ ability to resist cold temperatures by increasing their own heat output maxes out at about -10 degrees Celsius, according to a new study. After that point, they seek shelter from the cold rather than remain outside dealing with it. The study is the first to suggest that birds have a limit on their […]

A cool way to cool

Researchers have created a new rooftop cooling device that works under direct sunlight, without electricity, by emitting back heat radiation into space. The authors have produced a multi-layered solar reflector made of hafnium dioxide (HfO2) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) that reflects 97 per cent of sunlight at a frequency called the ‘infrared atmospheric transparency window’ […]

Old Blu-ray discs can improve solar efficiency

There’s a new use for unwanted Blu-ray discs; as a tool to make more efficient solar cells. Researchers used the quasi-random, nanoscale pattern of islands and pits on the surface of a discarded Blu-ray disc as a mould to shape the surface of a polymer solar cell. The nanoscale pattern increased the efficiency with which […]

An adult female chimpanzee (top, right) and 2-year-old son (top, left) feed alongside a former alpha male (bottom). A new study suggests that mother chimps give their sons more social exposure outside of the family than they give their daughters. (Photo credit: Ian Gilby, Arizona State University)

Chimps show gender bias in socialization

Among wild chimpanzees, mothers of sons spend more time interacting with other chimpanzees than mothers of daughters, according to a new study. In early infancy (0-6 months) when an infant is in almost constant contact with its mother, mothers of sons spent more time socializing with non-immediate family members than those with daughters. Additionally, mothers […]

This animated .gif shows the vibrating modes of a protein called conalbumin, found in egg whites. A new technique picks up the acoustic signals given off by such vibrations, which can be used to identify proteins and tell whether they’ve been altered by mutation or interactions with drugs.

Playing by EAR – how acoustics could help study proteins

A new technique called electronic acoustic Raman (EAR) spectroscopy could improve the way we study proteins, which in turn could help fight diseases like cystic fibrosis. The technique involves using a laser to excite small molecules like proteins; when excited they vibrate and give off sound at a specific frequency. By analysing the sound, researchers […]

Only half of patients take their medications as prescribed

A new comprehensive review shows that only about half of all patients who are prescribed medication actually take their medication as prescribed. Interventions such as support from family members or pharmacists, education and text messaging were not found to improve the situation in a reliable manner. The authors are now encouraging collaboration between researchers so […]

Fossils like these from Quebec’s Anticosti Island have shed light on the world’s first mass extinction, showing it was caused not by a single large glaciation but by many over a long period of time. (Photo credit: André Desrochers)

World’s first mass extinction was many events, not one

The world’s first mass extinction 444 million years ago was likely caused by a series of freeze-ups, and not a single massive ice age as previously thought. The extinction, which marks the boundary between the Ordovician and Silurian ages, wiped out 85 per cent of life in the oceans. In the new paper, fossil records […]

Silver nanoparticles could upset gut bacteria

Silver nanoparticles that leak from water filters could alter the community of bacteria in the human gut, according to a new study. Silver nanoparticles are meant to kill harmful bacteria in portable water filters, but if they leak into drinking water they could also kill beneficial bacteria in our digestive systems. A simulated gut bacterial […]

Brain Stimulation Therapies for Mental Illness | SMCC Webinar

Brain Stimulation Therapies for Mental Illness – Current Success and Future Directions  | SMCC Webinar | 12:15 PM ET, November 18, 2014 One in five Canadians will experience some kind of mental illness within their lifetime, yet for many the current treatments like medication or psychotherapy just don’t help. In Ontario alone it’s estimated that […]

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