Are blood stem cells hiding inside the bone to avoid sun damage?

In dyeing poison frog, HSC production moves from the kidney to the bone marrow during metamorphosis to avoid damage from sunlight that’s harsher on the surface of the earth than in the water, new study suggests. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) Blood stem cells may have evolved to inhabit bone tissue to avoid DNA damage from UV rays, a Harvard study suggests. Also known as haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), these cells are tasked with making blood —…

Continue reading


Fellow Creatures: Two new posts

Two new posts on dog training and pet behavior problems over at my Psychology Today blog Fellow Creatures.The first, Does owner personality affect dog training methods?, looks at intriguing findings from a recent study of personality, punishment in dog training, and dog behavior.Photo: Wyatt Ryan/UnsplashMeanwhile, Pet behaviour problems: In the eye of the beholder? looks at the factors that influence whether we consider a pet's behaviour issue to be a problem.Photo: Shannon Richards/UnsplashHave a great…

Continue reading


Lyme disease in Montreal

It’s summer time and so we will be hearing a lot about Borrelia burgdorferi infections. Not all news coverage on the issue is accurate but this piece by Aaron Derfel tries to put the issue in context. Chris also seems to pop up in the story. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/cases-of-lyme-disease-jumped-82-per-cent-among-montrealers-last-year-stats

Continue reading


Lots to celebrate as ISBT comes to Toronto

Earlier this month, the international community of transfusion medicine and science professionals converged on Toronto, Ontario, for the 35th Congress of the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT). Held every other year at different locations around the globe, the ISBT congress is one of the main knowledge sharing and networking events in the field of transfusion. This year was the first time since 2002 that the ISBT congress was held in Canada.

Continue reading


The Facts around FACT – Part 2

Debe Griffin, MSc, ASQ CPGP, has over 20 years of experience in the cell therapy field, both in bench positions and in leadership. Her primary interests are process improvement, quality assurance and regulatory affairs. She is a consultant with FACT Consulting Services as well as Chimera TQM. She has over a decade of experience as a FACT inspector and auditor. In this month’s post, invited guest blogger Debe Griffin discusses the changes to the Foundation for…

Continue reading


Companion Animal Psychology News June 2018

Make sure you haven't missed a thing with the latest round-up about dogs and cats from Companion Animal Psychology.Some of my favourites from around the web this monthHomeless people and their pets: ‘She saved me as much as I saved her.’ First-hand accounts in The Guardian of how much pets mean to homeless people in the US. “She wakes up so excited every morning and gets so happy about the littlest thing, like rolling around…

Continue reading


Planning the GTA work

My goal for the rest of my time in Andrew Lang's GTA lab  is to gather data that constrains estimates of the efficiency of GTA transduction.  I have lots of ideas but they're not very well organized, and I keep getting distracted by the minutiae of GTA biology (and our general ignorance of same).  So this post is an attempt to get a sensible plan written out.The bottom line for efficiency is how many transductants…

Continue reading


ParticipACTION releases expert statement on physical activity and brain health in children and youth

Earlier this week ParticipACTION released their annual Report Card on the Physical Activity of Canadian Children and Youth (full disclosure: I’m on the Report Card Research Committee).  The full details can found here.  The Report Card itself is important, but not terribly surprising – Canadian kids still sit too much, and get too little physical activity (sleep is ok, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement there as well). Along with the Report…

Continue reading


Study outlines reasons to ban electronic collars for dogs

A review of the scientific research finds there are risks to using electronic collars in dog training and says it's time for a ban.Photo: Parilov / ShutterstockLast year, a position statement from the European College of Veterinary Clinical Ethology argued against the use of electronic collars in dog training and for a Europe-wide ban on their sale and use.  Now an article in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour by Dr. Sylvia Masson et al explains…

Continue reading