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archives

Biology

This category contains 90 posts

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

Regrow Bones

I admit that I desperately want to live in the era of Star Trek or the world of Harry Potter right now. Repairing injuries and even regrowing bones and tissues would be pretty awesome given that the surgeon ended up removing three bones from my wrist on this last go. At the time he told … Continue reading

Exercise and healing

I just had my (hopefully) last surgery on the wrist I broke two years ago.  I have diligently done any physical tasks I was instructed on, whether that was not moving it or cleaning the pin that was sticking out. I have also paid close attention to my mental state and have worked to get … Continue reading

Survival of the ?

When you think about all the things that we will put humans, and even our pets through in order to make sure a bone heals properly you have to wonder if a broken bone for a wild animal is a death sentence. These bones are the same bone (the humerus – upper arm bone) from … Continue reading

My cell phone reduces my brain power

I’m waiting to get a surgery date for my wrist (for anyone counting that will technically be the fifth); as a result, I have my cell phone with me all the time. It sits out on my desk at work, even in meetings, and everyone understands that I will answer my phone if the doctor … Continue reading

What was evolution thinking?

I have a downy woodpecker nest in my backyard. It is awesome! For several weeks I have been watching and listening as the parents made the nest, cared for the eggs, fed the babies, and defended the nest. But as I lay in bed a little later this morning I can’t help but wonder isn’t … Continue reading

To weed or not to weed

A few years ago I moved into a neighbourhood of lush lawns. My direct neighbour is a retiree and spends excessive time managing his many different flower beds and his lawn. It looks awesome, so long as you like the manicured look. As I walk down the street on my way to the bus each … Continue reading

No straight answer

A few weeks ago I wrote two posts on synthetic versus cotton clothing and synthetic versus cotton wound dressings. Those came out quite squarely on the side of the synthetics. But nothing in life is ever that simple. The other side of the discussion are the environmental and social impacts of cotton versus synthetic clothing … Continue reading

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