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Biology

This category contains 97 posts

Do you have a concussion? Try testing your spit

For anyone who has had to do first aid on someone after they hit their head or make a decision about an athlete’s ability to continue to participate, or if you have had to decide yourself whether or not you may be suffering from a concussion yourself you know how much of a guessing game … Continue reading

Using DNA to see what bees do

To be honest, I had never thought about what we would do if bees and other pollinators disappear, despite knowing that they are currently under threat. But how do plants that depend on pollinators reproduce if the pollinators disappear? In various places throughout history, people had had to go out with tiny paint brushes and … Continue reading

Icing to increase flexibility?

I stumbled across an article today that seems to go against what I have always understood about stretching and flexibility. I have always been taught that to truly stretch you need to warm up your muscles first. Typically this was done by working the muscles at a lower intensity but I remember a physiotherapist telling … Continue reading

The origin of elements

Check out this article about the periodic table that two astronomers modified to show the origins of the different elements in your body. https://www.sciencealert.com/this-awesome-periodic-table-shows-the-origins-of-every-atom-in-your-body

What does it mean to be a carrier?

One of the things that my biology students often struggle with is what exactly does it mean to be a carrier for a particular trait. This is a difficult concept because it seems odd that we might have the information in our DNA for a trait such as a disease but we don’t actually have … Continue reading

Asthma, neurons, and the immune system

I still remember my first asthma attack. It’s a pretty terrifying feeling and one that I have worked hard against. The more I improve my cardiovascular system, the harder I’m able to push without feeling asthma’s grasp. But I’m lucky. I am able to train and improve but asthma can be debilitating. And while we … Continue reading

Pigeons are better at multitasking

I feel like these days people claim their ability to multitask as a badge of honour. Eventually, it will degrade to a playground quality fight: “Yeah, well I have ten different windows open on my computer and I’m simultaneously leading a meeting while attending a webinar that is vital to my field.” When I am … Continue reading

Which way does a tree lean?

If conditions are ideal a tree grows straight up. However, scarce resources may cause trees to grow with a lean, and it turns out that the direction and amount of this lean is affected by where a tree is in the world. Johns et al (2017) focused on a specific tree, Cook Pine, and found … Continue reading

Do Darwin’s finches actually have different DNA?

I have an undergraduate degree in biology, which means I have studied Darwin’s finches more times than I can count. The short version is that Darwin was on a ship that sailed to the Galapagos Islands. While there he observed many different species and variation within and between species. One of the groups that interested … Continue reading

Performance enhancing bacteria?

While it seems wrong to not write about the eclipse after yesterday’s event, I really can’t add anything that isn’t already out there so instead I’m going for something completely different. With several members of the Canadian track and field team being impacted by norovirus at the recent 2017 World Championships in Track and Field, … Continue reading

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