Latest articles

Prion diseases like BSE have a telltale sign

The discovery suggests the disease may not be 
as unstoppable as previously thought

Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have found fatal prion diseases, like BSE, have a hidden signature. Findings published this month in the peer-reviewed journal, Public Library of Science (PLoS) Pathogens, show that up to seven months before an animal shows physical signs of infection, a particular prion protein in the brain, known as […] Read more


Soil adds up

The way soil properties combine can be used to 
mathematically determine soil quality

To most people the quality of a soil is the sum of its physical properties — is it healthy and full of microbes? Does water infiltrate it readily or run off? How much air and water can it provide plant roots? Is it hard for roots or equipment to penetrate? Robson Armindo, a professor at […] Read more



Tipping points could predict the future of lakes

Dutch researchers say keeping a closer eye on key indicators could give water managers a fighting chance at avoiding catastrophe

A group of Dutch scientists has been trying to predict when lakes will enter ecological crises by monitoring key tipping points. Researcher Alena Gsell, of the Netherlands Institute of Technology, says the term ‘tipping point’ has become popular to describe sudden and fundamental changes that take place even though exterior conditions haven’t changed as radically. […] Read more


You really can hear corn grow

U.S. researchers say isolating this sound has given them 
surprising insight into plant growth

There’s an old farmer’s tale that says, “On a quiet night you can hear the corn grow.” It may seem funny, but Douglas Cook at New York University and colleagues Roger Elmore and Justin McMechan, at the University of Nebraska were able to use contact microphones to directly record the sounds of corn growing. Corn […] Read more



Certain milk proteins may promote human health

It seems cow’s milk may not all be created equal, some may be better for you

Milk that contains a certain protein may increase a key human antioxidant and strengthen the body’s disease-fighting properties. That’s according to a recent study published in Nutrition Journal that examined the results of a clinical trial at Nova Southeast University in Florida looking at the health effects of milk containing the A2 protein. In the […] Read more


Canola oil can help trim inches off the waist

Researchers found a significant decrease of belly fat in a 
clinical trial of obese subjects who consumed canola oil

Canola oil can help reduce belly fat, a new study has found. About 20 per cent of adults in Canada have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions — including belly fat — that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Researchers at the University of Manitoba, Laval University, and Penn State University tested […] Read more



Humans raised dairy animals for longer than thought

Our link to milk-producing animals dates back to the onset of agriculture

A team of scientists and archeologists has discovered widespread evidence of prehistoric milk production in southern Europe. The study, a collaboration between the U.K.’s University of York, the University of Bristol, and France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, uncovered evidence that humans have been utilizing milk and dairy products across the northern Mediterranean region […] Read more


Scientists root out answers

A new and simpler method to measure root mass promises plant scientists better insight into the below-ground differences of plants

When it comes to plant roots it’s out of sight, out of mind. But roots are an essential part of almost all plants and crucial to plant productivity and food production. For scientists, a better understanding of roots is important and their measurement is increasingly of interest. The problem is measuring roots is a hard […] Read more



Flight simulator shows pesticide effects

High-tech approach at the University of Saskatchewan uses virtual reality more common to video games


A research project at the University of Sask­atchewan is using a virtual reality flight simulator to measure how locusts are affected by pesticides. Rachel Parkinson, a biology master’s student, is trying to see how insects react to neonicotinoids. “There is a lot of controversy over these pesticides,” said biology professor, Jack Gray, Parkinson’s supervisor. “They […] Read more


Cow antibodies show a path to fighting human disease

Novel vaccines combine natural antibodies and engineer antigens 
to trigger immune response

Old Bessie may have shown researchers a new way to fight human diseases. A recent paper from University of Guelph scientists says a novel vaccine that protects cattle from a viral-driven respiratory disease may hold the secret to creating similar treatments for human diseases, ranging from gut infections to HIV and cancer. Azud Kaushik, a […] Read more