Right Turn: Curing Canavan Disease with gene therapy

Rare diseases are defined as such because the number of people affected by them is considered very low. Depending on which country you live in, that number will change. There are so many rare diseases in the world that if you add up the number of people living with one, it’s no longer a small number. In the United States, 25-30 million people are estimated to live with a rare disease. I had never heard…

Continue reading


A Summer School on Animal Sentience and Cognition

“Without consciousness the mind-body problem would be much less interesting. With consciousness it seems hopeless.” – Thomas Nagel “What is it like to be a bat?” is the somewhat disconcerting title of philosopher Thomas Nagel’s famous 1974 article on the ineffability of subjective consciousness. In reality, we humans will never know what it is like to use echolocation to navigate as we fly through the air, because, unlike bats, we simply don’t have the bodies…

Continue reading


New way to check the quality of blood before opening the bag

New way to check the quality of blood before opening the bag Transfusion Blood Thursday, February 14, 2019 Ross FitzGerald Image Dr. Dana Devine, Chief Scientist, Canadian Blood Services Researchers have developed a new technique to assess the quality of blood without breaching the sterility of blood bags, according to a new paper published by Dr. Martha Vardaki. The study is part of a larger ongoing effort to develop non-invasive technologies to monitor blood products…

Continue reading


We need to talk about Fortnite

In the past few months I have had increasingly frequent conversations with people about their children’s (usually boys) time spent playing Fortnite. For those who are unaware, Fortnite is a video game that can be played on computer, as well as a range of video game consoles and even smartphones and tablets. The most popular form of the game is the Battle Royale, which is essentially “a mass online brawl where 100 players leap out…

Continue reading


Breed Specific Legislation Had No Effect on Dog Bites in Odense, Denmark

In 2010, Denmark banned 13 breeds of dog. It made no difference to hospitalizations for dog bites.Photo: sanjagrujic/ShutterstockOne approach that some countries or municipalities take to attempt to reduce injuries from dog bites is to ban certain breeds, known as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). A new study by Dr. Finn Nilson  (Karlstad University) et al investigates the effects of BSL in Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense. The results show that it had no effect on hospitalizations…

Continue reading


Le système glymphatique : les égouts du cerveau

On le sait, le cerveau humain est extrêmement énergivore. Il consomme 20 à 25 % de l’énergie que nous ingérons pour un organe qui ne représente que 2% du poids du corps humain. Il produit donc forcément des quantités importantes de déchets potentiellement toxiques pour lui (en fait, on estime qu’il en produite l’équivalent de son poids en déchets en un an !). Comment il se débarrasse de ces déchets est longtemps resté mystérieux. On…

Continue reading


Highlights from our partners: Thrombomodulin: Old protein with new functions and hope

Highlights from our partners: Thrombomodulin: Old protein with new functions and hope Transfusion Blood Friday, February 08, 2019 Dr. Geraldine Walsh Image This week, we highlight work from one of our partners, the Centre for Blood Research. Wayne Zhao describes a review by Dr. Ed Conway, Centre for Blood Research director and adjunct scientist at the Centre for Innovation. This review describes the many roles of thrombomodulin, a protein involved in blood coagulation. Wayne is…

Continue reading


New Study Identifies our Different Ethical Beliefs about Animals

New research finds four ethical orientations towards animals, and some surprising links to cat and dog ownership and to other behaviours such as eating “welfare-friendly” meat.We all have different views about what we think are ethical ways to treat animals. New research by Dr. Thomas Bøker Lund et al. (University of Copenhagen), published today in PLOS ONE, finds four different ethical orientations that are commonly held by the general public.The results show just how complicated…

Continue reading


Early exposure can help prevent allergies

Intuitively you would think that avoiding allergens is best. But in reality, exposing yourself early is what can help prevent them. Thinking on allergies has changed a great deal over the past few years and new guidelines from the Canadian Pediatric Society have reflected how our thinking has evolved. Check out the article here : https://montrealgazette.com/opinion/christopher-labos-early-exposure-can... *********************************************** New guidelines issued by the Canadian Pediatric Society have changed course on the best way to prevent food allergies…

Continue reading


Finding Hidden Food in Nosework Increases Dogs’ Optimism

Opportunities to use the nose and make choices in nosework are good for dogs’ welfare.Photo: KM-Photography/ShutterstockWe all know that dogs like to sniff. Is it possible that providing opportunities to find food in nosework can improve dogs’ wellbeing?New scientific research by Dr. Charlotte Duranton (Ethodog) and Dr. Alexandra Horowitz (Barnard College) finds that dogs who participate in nose work have increased optimism compared to dogs that took part in heelwork instead.Importantly, both activities involved perambulation, as well…

Continue reading