Why new COVID-19 variants are on the rise and spreading

(Sara Otto/ The Conversation) –– A new variant of coronavirus has swept across the United Kingdom and been detected in the United States, Canada and elsewhere. Scientists are concerned that these new strains may spread more easily. As an evolutionary biologist, I study how mutation and selection combine to shape changes in populations over time. Never before […]

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Mindfulness might help ease the pain of breast cancer survivors

(Neuroscience News) — A study led by University of Ottawa researchers provides empirical evidence that mindfulness has a significant impact on the brain of women suffering from neuropathic pain related to breast cancer treatment. The researchers showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) helps modulate neuropathic pain. Their findings could make a difference in the lives […]

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‘Lungs in a box’ to meet the organ shortage

(Laura Vega/ University of Alberta) — A University of Alberta-led trial has demonstrated the potential of the Ex-Vivo Organ Support System (EVOSS) device to increase life-saving opportunities for patients waiting for a lung transplant.  The study, published in Nature Communications, confirmed the efficacy of the device in using negative pressure ventilation ex situ lung perfusion (NPV-ESLP) to assess […]

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The first endovascular technology that can explore capillaries

(Valérie Geneux/ EPFL News) — EPFL scientists have invented a technique to navigate electronic devices that are smaller than human hair inside blood vessels and reach arterioles. The next step will be conducting in vivo tests. The cardiovascular system is astonishing. It uses the blood that circulates in our veins and arteries to transport oxygen […]

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Researcher demonstrates that DNA impacts cancer risk

(Laura Herperger/ Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute) — Lifestyle, or put another way, “bad habits,” is one of the textbook explanations for why some people are at higher risk for cancer. We often hear that smoking increases our risk of developing lung cancer or that a high-fat diet increases our risk of developing bowel cancer, but […]

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COVID and 2020: An extraordinary year for science

(Ewen Callaway, Heidi Ledford, Giuliana Viglione, Traci Watson, Alexandra Witze/ Nature) — One event dominated in 2020: a deadly and previously unknown virus wreaked havoc across the globe, killing more than 1.5 million people, infecting many more and causing economic devastation. And although there were other newsworthy research developments in 2020, the pandemic set the course of science to […]

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How do non-smokers develop lung cancer? Mouth bacteria may play role

(Alexandra Mae Jones/ CTV News) — Even those who have never smoked a cigarette in their lives can develop lung cancer — and new research suggests that one mechanism behind this could be specific types of mouth bacteria. A paper published Monday in the scientific journal Thorax which looked at non-smokers found that the chances of developing […]

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Are You Susceptible to Brain Aneurysms?

(Alexander Stark/ Lab Worldwide) — By studying the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people, scientists from Unige, HUG and the University of Utrecht discovered the genetic basis of intracranial aneurysms. Nearly three percent of the world’s population is at risk of developing an intracranial aneurysm, a localized dilation of a blood vessel forming a […]

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Experimental brain implants in monkeys offer hope for restoring vision

(Amy Woodyatt/ CNN News) — Scientists are a step closer to restoring the sight of blind people using brain implants, researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience said, after a series of successful experiments on monkeys. Researchers developed implants containing 1,024 electrodes — conductors that carry electrical currents into and out of the brain — and […]

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Health Canada approves Pfizer coronavirus vaccine

(Amanda Connoly/ Global News) — Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is officially approved for use in Canada, with limited rollout set to begin to priority groups “within days” and vaccination of the general population anticipated to start in April. Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical advisor with the regulatory branch of Health Canada, spoke with reporters in a press conference […]

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