From Our Own Borealis Blog

Counting On Diversity

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by Auriel Fournier Math and Statistics subject editor Conservation is hard, but in a perfect world it wouldn’t be—we’d need […]

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Artists classified the animal kingdom?

Where taxonomy and biology are concerned, my knowledge begins and end with Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish scientist who ushered in modern taxonomy. It was with some surprise that I find out artists also helped develop the field. From a June 21, 2016 news item on ScienceDaily, In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries artists were fascinated by how the animal kingdom was classified. They were in some instances ahead of natural historians. This is one of the findings of art historian Marrigje Rikken. She will defend her PhD on 23 June [2016] on animal images in visual art. In recent years she has studied how images of animals between 1550 and 1630 became an art genre in themselves. ‘The close relationship between science and art at that time was remarkable,’ Rikken comments. ‘Artists tried to bring some order to the animal kingdom, just as biologists did.’ A June 21, 2016 Universiteit…

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On Books – and "Real Books"

Posted by Helaine BeckerWriting for kids can be a monstrously thankless job. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “When are you going to write a ‘real’ book?” Grrrr.Kids’ books are real books. The level of material they contain is often superior to material aimed at adults.  With good reason:  What we read when we’re young will stick with us for a lifetime. And if the ‘facts’ we learn are wrong….Let’s pause for a moment and think about pearls. Do you, by any chance, think they form when a bit of grit gets into the oyster? So sorry. Not so.I only learned the true story of the pearl while researching The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea (Kids Can Press). I fact-checked a ‘fact’ that I ‘knew’ was true: that oyster tidbit. I thought doing so was a formality; a waste of time even.Yet when…

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Right Turn: Making a fashion statement with stem cells

Straight from the laboratory to the runway, it looks like stem cells have gone haute couture. Fashion designer Dominic Pangborn has teamed up with a group of researchers from the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund at the University of Michigan to create a stunning set of scarves and ties featuring striking human stem cell images. This isn’t the first time stem cells have served as fashion muses. In a past blog, professors Arnold Caplan and Glenn Prestwich were caught sporting matching ties with stem cell clusters at the annual Business of Regenerative Medicine course when it was held in Toronto. However, this is the first time that we’ve seen such a unique print inspired by stem cells. Upon closer examination, each of Pangborn’s design patterns reveals images of brain stem cells alongside butterflies, which he says is meant to convey a message of hope and metamorphosis. University of Michigan…

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Roles of Essential Vitamins and the Consequences of Their Deficiencies

WHAT ARE VITAMINS? Vitamins are essential nutrients needed by the body in small amounts, to allow the body to grow, develop and function normally. Although our body can make some of its own vitamins, we get the majority of the vitamins we need from the food we eat every day1. In total, there are 13 […]

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