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 […]

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 […]

Use ‘em or lose ‘em – The case for teaching navigational skills

Schools should teach navigational and map reading skills to ensure future generations do not lose their innate ability to navigate in the world, so says Roger McKinlay, former president of the Royal Institute of Navigation in the United Kingdom. In this commentary, the author argues that turning to technology erodes our innate ability to orientate, […]

Recovery is possible for global fisheries

The world’s declining fisheries could recover in less than a decade if management reforms are implemented in time, according to researchers. Researchers looked at 4,500 fisheries in the world, representing about 78 per cent of the reported global catch using state of the art bio-economic models. The researchers found that while the majority of fisheries […]

Recipe for a waste-free world

A series of comment pieces discuss the circular economy – where industrial outputs become inputs so that goods at the end of their life turn into resources for other uses. In the first article Walter Stahel, who coined the concept of the circular economy, argues it is time to shift to a “resource-miser” economy. He […]

The next miracle cure – exercise

Physical activity and specific exercises have been shown to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of many chronic health conditions such as knee osteoarthritis, low back pain, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However a new review shows these exercises are being under-prescribed by physicians. The authors suggest this is due to a lack of […]

Global snapshot of the Vegetation Sensitivity Index (VSI), a new indicator of vegetation sensitivity to climate variability. Areas in green (red) have comparatively lower (higher) vegetation sensitivity. Grey areas are barren land or ice covered. (Image credit: Seddon et al)

Mapping ecological sensitivity around the world

The areas of the world most sensitive to climate variation have been mapped by researchers. Using 14 years of satellite data researchers were able to develop the vegetation sensitivity index. The index is based on three variables that drive vegetation production – air temperature, water availability, and the degree of cloud cover. The researchers believe […]

(Photo credit: Pat Hawks)

Winter driving must become safer

  An editorial from the Canadian Medical Association Journal calls for improving winter road maintenance and safety to decrease the number of deaths due to winter driving in Canada. The authors recommend: Improving road maintenance standards, and tailoring maintenance to local conditions. Government oversight of road service companies to ensure adherence to regulations. Legislation requiring […]

How infants account for dominance

Group size matters when determining who is dominant, at least according to human infants. The team believes this shows infants as young as six months of age are able to assess social dominance by looking at the numerical size of competing groups, an ancient evolutionary ability. Researchers found infants evaluate which group is dominant by […]

Losing money to lose weight

Paying employees to exercise doesn’t work, but taking money away might, according to a new study. Removing a small amount from a cash reward given upfront was more effective at promoting daily physical exercise than receiving a small reward for meeting physical activity goals. Participants in a 13-week physical activity program were given a goal […]

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