Around town: All creatures, great and small

This weekend will see a gathering of the province’s veterinarians and staff in downtown Vancouver for the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the Society of British Columbia Veterinarians (SBCV) Chapter Fall Conference and Trade Show. The program seems predominantly small animal–oriented, but in reality, vets across BC handle all sizes of patient, quadruped and biped, skin, scales, fur and feather in their daily working lives. Have you ever wondered just how oddly varied a day’s…

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Boo! Zombies are real!

With Halloween just around the corner, how about a little creepy science for the season? Zombies are real. Yes, you read that one right. The undead do exist, and not just in fiction…but maybe I should clarify before you dive right back behind the sofa. Relax; it’s not a whole-body reanimated dead-to-alive apocalypse, just a finding from a group of researchers who saw that in death, a whole series of genes come to life. What?…

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Paving the way for Ada: Mary Fairfax Somerville

We’ve covered Ada Lovelace Day on the Talk Science blog for the last couple of years. By now, dear reader, you should know all about the “Enchantress of Numbers,” as Charles Babbage referred to her, and why her achievements are so remarkable even today. But who came before her—who paved the way? And this is where I launch into another of my favourite themes: coincidences. It turns out that one of Ada’s teachers grew up…

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#goodbyephilae #goodbyerosetta

This single-frame Rosetta navigation camera image was taken at a distance of 71.9 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on March 9, 2015. The image has a resolution of 6.1 m/pixel and measures 6.3 km across. The image has been processed to bring out the details of the comet’s activity. Talk Science To Me staff are a bunch of hard-nosed, emotionless science communicators who check their feelings at the door each day to report…

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Content notes and trigger warnings: A primer for editors

I recently copy-edited a book called Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain, published by our subsidiary, Thorntree Press. The book covers a wide range of topics relevant to bisexual people and allies in the UK and other English-speaking countries. I learned a lot from editing this book, as I always do, but one thing I had to deal with was entirely new to me: content notes. Content notes and trigger warnings have been a hot topic…

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What we’ve been up to: Community involvement

At Talk Science to Me, we encourage our associates to get involved in the community and contribute time to causes they care about. We’ve been pretty busy on the community involvement front lately and are proud to share what we’ve been doing. Strengthening the editing community Eve, Amy and I (Roma) are all very involved in Editors British Columbia, the local branch of Editors Canada. On June 10–11, Editors BC hosted the annual Editors Canada conference. Last…

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Don’t forget to pack the chicken

Off on vacation? Here’s something topical I plucked from my science feeds for you. Apparently, adding a chicken to the packing list might be a wise idea this summer, especially if you’re traveling in malaria-prone areas. Researchers with the University of Addis Ababa and the Swedish University of Agriculture have found that chicken body odours repel malaria-bearing mosquitoes. Not only did the research team determine that chickens actively discourage Anopheles arabiensis, the dominant malaria vector…

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Around town: 16th International Conference of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

This week, Vancouver is hosting the 16th International Conference of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Jointly organized by three associations—the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences and the Pan-American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology—conference attendees will attend sessions over five days. These include two plenaries delivered by Nobel Prize winners, including Dr. Andrew Fire (2006; RNA gene silencing-interference by double stranded dsRNA). The conference theme this year is “Signalling Pathways…

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Einstein, or it’s okay to say “what?”

June 30 marks the anniversary of publication for physicist Albert Einstein’s first paper on special relativity. On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (1905) sets out Einstein’s theory on the relationship between space and time, establishing relativity for time and distance, and the absolute nature of the speed of light. As one of his four annus mirabilis [Latin: “miraculous year”] papers published in Annalen der Physik science journal the year that he obtained his doctoral degree,…

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In case you were wondering…

Leaving clients hanging in mid-air in their dealings with Talk Science to Me is not our style: every i is dotted, projects are delivered within deadline and we fully communicate project progress with every milestone. Professionals to the core. This also extends to you, dear reader, on the blog. We hope our posts leave you informed, engaged and wanting to know more…but never in the dark. So without further ado, ta-dah: updates on a couple of stories we ran earlier this year.…

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