From Our Own Borealis Blog

Biogas: A pungent power solution


Kirsten Grant, General Science co-editor On a dairy farm in southern Ontario, two large green silos sit beside the barn. […]

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The eight creepiest bug specimens at UBC

We realize technically spiders are not bugs, but just look at this poster.By Koby Michaels, Assistant Editor, FocusHollywood has a long history of combining insects (tipically gigantic ones) with horror stories, and Halloween is full of spider costumes, plastic scorpions and gummy worms. Therefore we decided to celebrate this spooky holiday by combing through the Beaty Biodiversity Museum’s Spencer Entomological Collection to find the creepiest and crawliest bugs UBC’s Vancouver campus has to offer.The collection, which dates back…

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A Short Petting Session Improves Wellbeing in Shelter Dogs

For shelter dogs, spending 15 minutes with a volunteer who will pet them when they want is beneficial according to both physiological and behavioural measures.Photo: ESB Basic / ShutterstockDogs in shelters may be deprived of human company. Can a short petting session help them feel better? A study published earlier this year by Dr. Ragen McGowan et. al. and published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science investigated the effects of petting from a stranger and found…

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Advice on Athena SWAN in Canada: universities need to focus on practical changes

The last two months have featured quite a lot of chat about the planned “Made in Canada” version of the U.K.’s Athena SWAN initiative.  University Affairs has already detailed the nuts and bolts in an excellent article from Anqi Shen where some imperfections were also highlighted including the costs (financial and time) of implementing and monitoring effective programming. As a U.K.-based researcher since 2009, I’ve had nearly a decade to watch the Athena SWAN programme…

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Percer le mystère des dépôts d’oxydes métalliques mettant en péril les pétroglyphes micmacs en Nouvelle-Écosse

Aaron Lussier fait état d’une recherche de pointe pour percer l’origine mystérieuse d’un dépôt d’oxydes métalliques menaçant des pétroglyphes au parc national Kejimkujik. Lire la suite →

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How CRISPR is democratizing genetic testing

Image courtesy of Pixaby Scientists have enlisted the gene editing tool CRISPR in a hunt for cancer causing mutations, releasing into the open valuable data that could help doctors better advise their patients. A new study lists almost 4,000 individual “misspellings,” or variants, in the “breast cancer gene” BRCA1 and how likely each one is to cause disease. The vast majority of variants—3,000 of them—are new to public databases containing genetic test results from people…

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