Fellow Creatures: Some Pet Owners Are Having Issues During the Pandemic

Many people rushed out to get pets when the pandemic started, but it's not an overwhelmingly positive experience. My latest post on my Fellow Creatures blog at Psych Today looks at some new research on how pets are affecting people during this time. By Zazie Todd, PhD.The research from the University of Florida investigated people's experiences of having a pet during the pandemic as well as how their pet factored into health decisions about COVID-19. Check…

Continue reading


How coastal urbanization is contaminating seafood and an emerging technology is being developed to stem the tide

Francesco Zangari is a PhD researcher at the University of Toronto in the Department of Molecular Genetics. He studies RNA/protein interactions using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry techniques. Outside the lab, Francesco is a Toronto-based science writer, driven to captivate readers with in-depth stories about the people involved in science and new scientific discoveries. To date, Francesco has written for a variety of outlets like Sinai Health Foundation, Massive Science, Cellular Agriculture Canada and the National Association…

Continue reading


A Secure Outdoor Enclosure is Good for Cats, Study Says

It could be time to start working on your catio plans. Outdoors access with lower risk is good for pet cats’ quality of life.Photo: Ellie Burgin/PexelsBy Zazie Todd, PhDWhen cats are given outdoors access that is restricted, like a catio or a yard with a secure fence they can't escape from, it’s good for their welfare according to a study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science.Whether or not cats should have outdoors access is a…

Continue reading


How can snot-collecting drones help with whale conservation?

When we think about whale conservation, we can picture researchers frantically taking photos of surfacing whales, dangling over the edge of a research boat collecting biopsy samples or elbow deep into a carcass. However, recently, some whale scientists are on a mission to collect a less conventional sample: whale snot! What is whale snot, and why do scientists want it? In technical terms, whale snot is called “exhaled breath condensate.” Essentially, whales expel air and…

Continue reading


« L’école des profs » toujours active, même en temps de pandémie !

Crédit image : M.C. Escher J’ai présenté mercredi dernier une conférence d’une heure en ligne dans le cadre de mes « Écoles de profs », ces perfectionnements en sciences cognitives que je donne surtout aux professeurs de cégep du Québec. Je vous en parle aujourd’hui pour deux raisons : d’abord pour vous en signaler le contenu accessible comme toujours en pdf sur le site, et aussi pour rappeler que cette activité peut se tenir en ligne…

Continue reading


A Love Letter to Loss: Missing Calvin in the Middle of Covid

Losing a pet at this time simply adds to the difficulties of the pandemic, says Dr. Shelly Volsche.Shelly Volsche's late dog, Calvin.Guest post by Shelly Volsche, PhD    My Dearest Loss,            Lo! How I love to hate thee.            Yea, I concede I love thee.We cannot deny that 2020 tested us all. Social and economic instability, immense restructuring of our daily routines, wildfires, epic storms, and, oh yes, that global pandemic. “Trying” and…

Continue reading


Right Turn: President Biden is bringing science back

Former president Donald Trump was, unfortunately, not a big fan of science. Perhaps more damaging, he was an instigator of misinformation and disinformation. One gem that will be remembered long after he has left the White House was his idea of injecting disinfectants to treat COVID-19. Having blogged about Trump’s stance on science four years ago, it seems fitting to explore what a Biden presidency might look like, with respect to science. What we think…

Continue reading


This solitary dolphin learned to “speak porpoise” and made new friends

Dolphins are very social creatures. But what happens when they become isolated? Some solitary dolphins seek comfort around navigational buoys and sometimes approach other species like humans. But this one solitary short-beaked common dolphin called Kylie found a way to deal with isolation. This common dolphin hanging out in Scottish waters seems to “speak porpoise,” producing sounds similar to those of harbor porpoises and made some friends along the way. Kylie leaping out of the…

Continue reading


Chief scientist Dr. Dana Devine takes on directorship at Centre for Blood Research

Chief scientist Dr. Dana Devine takes on directorship at Centre for Blood Research Plasma Stem Cells Transfusion Blood Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Catherine Lewis Canadian Blood Services’ chief scientist has been appointed director of the Centre for Blood Research at the University of British Columbia. This new role deepens Canadian Blood Services’ lasting collaboration with the centre and is part of Dr. Devine’s longstanding pursuit of bringing new discoveries to patients in meaningful ways. “As…

Continue reading


Une devinette sur la mémoire humaine

La semaine dernière, je rappelais qu’on ne dit jamais assez à quel point notre cerveau est plastique, que l’on peut durant toute notre vie renforcer nos synapses qui forment l’engramme de nos apprentissages. Et que cette conception des choses amène une meilleure attitude devant les difficultés d’apprentissage et les erreurs puisqu’elles deviennent alors autant d’occasions d’améliorer nos conceptions et nos idées sur le monde. Or il y a une petite devinette que j’aime poser lorsque…

Continue reading