Killing flies with bacteria and other things I couldn’t possibly explain to my grandfather

written by Dr. Justin Nodwell image by Andrew Zhai My grade 11 math teacher, Mr. Dimass, was a fan of short, elegant proofs. Conversely, he had an aversion for anything that was unnecessarily complicated. To indicate such excesses, he used to say, “it’s like you’re …

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What happens to dead whales? Explosions, 10-feet burials, and zombie worms

How do whales die? Do dead whales float or sink? How do people dispose of stranded whales? If you’ve ever wondered about whales’ life after death? Find out everything you need to know in this post! Lifespan and causes of death Bowhead whales are the longest living cetaceans; they can live up to 200 years! Whales generally live long lives, sometimes even surpassing humans’ lifespans. Bowhead whales are by far the oldest whale species, living…

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Serious problems in the reproducibility of brain imaging results

As I’ve pointed out in previous posts, the results produced by brain-imaging technologies such as fMRI are subject to at least two limitations. First. they detect neural activation only indirectly, by monitoring blood flows in the brain. Second, the methods used to analyze such images are subject to many forms of bias. These limitations were confirmed in a troubling study by Tom Schonberg, Thomas Nichols and Russell Poldrack, entitled “Variability in the analysis of a…

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World Brain Death Project: Implications for Canadian practice

World Brain Death Project: Implications for Canadian practice Transplantation Organs and Tissues Thursday, November 05, 2020 Ross FitzGerald There are inconsistencies in criteria and practice of brain death (death by neurologic criteria) both internationally and within countries. The World Brain Death Project was created to formulate recommendations about the determination of brain death based on extensive reviews of the literature and expert opinion of a large multi-disciplinary, international panel, including representation from intensive care (adult…

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Comment expliquer nos pensées les plus abstraites ?

Poursuivant ces jours-ci la lecture de l’ouvrage “Enactive Psychiatry” dont je vous ai parlé en septembre dernier, je retombe sur cette expression évocatrice de « representation-hungry phenomena » que j’avais découverte en lisant d’autres bouquins sur l’histoire des sciences cognitives. Il s’agit, comme le rappelle Sanneke de Haan, de ces pensées que nous avons souvent à propos de choses qui ne sont pas concrètement présentes sous nos yeux. Ou alors de pensées à propos de…

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Dare to Be Different: Albinism in Marine Mammals

A rare albino fur seal was spotted off the Eastern coast of Russia. Being different in the wild comes with many challenges. In this post, we will explain albinism in marine mammals. The curious case of the ginger seal In early September, marine mammologist Vladimir Burkanov made a surprising discovery on Tyuleny Island, in Russia. The biologist stumbled upon an albino northern fur seal pup during a research trip and nicknamed it “Ugly Duckling“. The…

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The Writer’s Pet: Roz Watkins and Cut to the Bone

Roz Watkins on her latest detective book, Cut to the Bone, and her adorable pets.Magnum and Ginge. Photo: Roz Watkins.No. 6 in the series The Writer's Pet by Zazie Todd PhD.This page contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.Best-selling author Roz Watkins sets her DI Meg Dalton series in England’s Peak District. Cut To The Bone is the third book in the crime series,…

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Access and affordability of gene therapies at TMM2020

Janet Rossant, PhD. Photo sickkids.ca We heard it first. If you attended the virtual Vancouver version of the 2020 Till & McCulloch Meetings, you had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Janet Rossant, Chair of the Expert Panel on the Approval and Use of Somatic Gene Therapies in Canada, giving us a preview of the “From Research to Reality” report just issued this week by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA). Her talk was part…

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The Sei Whale – November 2020

Whalecome to our new whale of the month, the sei whale, Balaenoptera borealis! This mysterious baleen whale is the third largest of the rorqual family. It is also an endangered species that was hunted to near-extinction and is now slowly recovering. Here are a couple of cool facts about the sei whale. Sei whale mom and calf – Wikimedia Commons/NOAA-Christin Khan Sonic whale Despite its large body size and mass, the sei whale is a…

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New Sunny Days Tee & All Merch On Sale

There's a new Companion Animal Psychology tee - and all merch is on sale!By Zazie Todd, PhDThis time last year, I published my 500th post, about how reward-based training methods aren't just for sunny days. It was a popular post.So I've put a quote from that post on a t-shirt and hoodie. In fact on several t-shirts because I like to give you a choice of styles that are available in a wide range of…

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