A communication mechanism in plants that resembles the nervous system in animals

In September 2018, the journal Science published an article with the intriguing title “Nervous system-like signaling in plant defense”. This article describes the discovery of an internal signaling mechanism that some plants use when they are being attacked by plant-eating animals. This mechanism uses glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that plays a well known role in the brains of mammals as well. In these plants, the glutamate molecules bind to a receptor similar to the glutamate…

Continue reading


Most Serious Dog Bites Happen at Home, and No Breed Group Can Be Blamed

A study of dog bites in Calgary finds no breed group can be singled out for serious bites, and older adults may be at more risk than previously thought.Photo: Christian Mueller/ShutterstockDog bites are a serious public health problem. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 4.7 million Americans are bitten every year and 800,000 require medical treatment. New research from Dr. Niamh Caffrey and colleagues (University of Calgary), published in Animals, investigates all dog bites…

Continue reading


«Coping with Illness Digitally» : mieux comprendre le rôle des technologies dans la gestion de la maladie

En santé, les technologies de la communication peuvent être utilisées à plusieurs fins, par exemple pour acquérir, valider et comparer des informations sur la santé ; trouver et évaluer un prestataire de soins et services de santé, mieux comprendre la maladie par le biais d’expériences vécues par d’autres personnes, participer à des communautés de soutien par des pairs,

Continue reading


Special – Talking Science in the Age of Fake News

  To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the McGill Office for Science and Society, a university-backed office dedicated to separating sense from nonsense, Jonathan moderated a panel discussion entitled "Talking Science in the Age of Fake News". The panelists were Prof. Joe Schwarcz, the director of the Office; Timothy Caulfield, host of a User's Guide to Cheating Death on Netflix; Carly Weeks, health reporter for The Globe & Mail newspaper; and Ryan Armstrong, director of…

Continue reading


Companion Animal Psychology News June 2019

What pigeons teach us about home, the view from a catcam, and stunning photographs of dogs... this month's Companion Animal Psychology news.Wag newsI am very excited to share the news that my publisher, Greystone Books, has made the official announcement that my book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy, will be published in Spring 2020. This month I have been responding to the proof-reader’s queries and have also seen the page spreads. After…

Continue reading


Right Turn: Are stem cell documentaries aiming to lend legitimacy to unproven stem cell treatments?

In our hyperconnected world, video is king. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that for marketers video helps convert visitors (to a website for example) into customers. Videos also bring testimonials to life. Real people are telling us why we should buy this product or trust that service. They believe what they’re saying or at least they are convincing at appearing to believe it. Social media juggernauts like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and…

Continue reading


International effort leads to better clinical guidelines for a serious illness affecting fetuses and newborns

International effort leads to better clinical guidelines for a serious illness affecting fetuses and newborns Transfusion Blood Thursday, June 20, 2019 Denise Landry What is Fetal and Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia? FNAIT is a rare disease that occurs when a baby inherits platelet proteins from its father that are foreign to its mother. In response, the expectant mother’s immune system makes antibodies that destroy the developing baby’s platelets. Platelets circulate in blood and help prevent bleeding.…

Continue reading


Fellow Creatures: Seniors and Pets

I have a new post at my Psychology Today blog, Fellow Creatures, about a new review study of seniors with pets.It shows that while pets can have many benefits for older people, there are can also be some issues, and the report has some suggestions. Read more in the challenges and benefits of pet ownership for seniors.Photo: Peter Baxter/Shutterstock.

Continue reading


Organ and tissue donation by those who choose medical assistance in dying: new guidance for professionals

Organ and tissue donation by those who choose medical assistance in dying: new guidance for professionals Transplantation Organs and Tissues Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Jenny Ryan A new publication in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) aims to help health care teams navigate clinical issues surrounding organ and tissue donation by patients who choose to donate after medical assistance in dying (MAID) or withdrawal of life-sustaining measures.    In collaboration with the Canadian Critical Care Society, the Canadian Society of Transplantation, and…

Continue reading