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What's new in the world of science this week.
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Below are some science stories you may be interested in following this week. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us at: info@sciencemedia.ca.
  indicates Canadian contributors. 

PLEASE NOTE: Embargoed stories shall not be released, distributed, or published before the embargo date and time. Embargo violations will result in cancellation of access to our material.

New approach for buyers and sellers to identify sustainable salmon

FACETS
Published March 19, 2018 (News release from Canadian Science Publishing)
Because adult salmon return to the rivers where they were reared to reproduce, origin river is a key to a salmon population’s status. A new framework for certifying wild salmon allows individual retailers to develop criteria for certification based on specific salmon-bearing rivers. The criteria emphasize the identity and abundance of the river-specific salmon stocks that are fished be well known and well managed, and the type of fishing gear be passive, have a low carbon footprint, and easily release non-target stocks.
Corresponding author: Misty MacDuffee, Raincoast Conservation Foundation - 
misty@raincoast.org

Childhood traumatic brain injury may lead to ADHD
JAMA Pediatrics
Published March 19, 2018 (News release from JAMA Network)

This study examined potential development of secondary attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) five to 10 years after children have experienced traumatic brain injury, compared to a control group of children who had sustained orthopedic injuries. Researchers found severe brain injury is associated with increased risk of developing ADHD. They suggest children who experience traumatic brain injury be monitored for attention problems.
Canadian co-author: Keith Owen Yeates, University of Calgary and Hotchkiss Brain Institute - kyeates@ucalgary.ca

Fluctuating patterns in birds' nesting success revealed

The Auk: Ornithological Advances

Embargoed Until March 21, 2018, 09:00 ET 
Researchers examined 39 years of data about a British Columbia population of Song Sparrows to identify patterns in how and why nesting success changed over time. The researchers found that factors such as rainfall, population density, and nest parasitism interacted in complex ways, with their effects waxing and waning, and that inbreeding became a significant negative factor only when it increased sharply during the middle portion of the study.  
Co-author: Peter Arcese, University of British Columbia - peter.arcese@ubc.ca
Email aospubs@americanornithology.org for an advance copy of the paper.

URL after publication

Large study on cancer in the Métis people of Canada
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Published March 19, 2018 (News release from CMAJ)

Métis adults experience significantly higher rates for lung cancer, liver, larynx and gallbladder cancers, and for female breast and cervical cancers than non-Aboriginal Canadians do, according to a new study that linked data on self-reported Métis ancestry from the 1991 Canadian census to national cancer and mortality databases between 1992 and 2009. Although prostate cancer survival rates were poorer for Métis men, incidence rates were significantly lower for melanoma and leukemia in Métis adults and for colorectal cancer in Métis women.
Lead author: Maegan Mazereeuw, Cancer Care Ontario - mmazereeuw@cihi.ca
Food insecurity changes breastfeeding length and patterns
Canadian Medical Association Journal  
Published March 19, 2018 (News release from CMAJ)

Mothers with babies living in households with inadequate or unpredictable access to food are less likely to breastfeed exclusively to the recommended six months. Researchers looked at data on 10,450 women who participated in the Canadian Community Health Survey and who had given birth up to a year before the survey. Half of the women experiencing food insecurity ceased exclusive breastfeeding by two months. 
Lead author: Sarah Orr, Public Health Ontario - sarah.orr@oahpp.ca
Info-graphic

Mountain pine beetles produce and store key adult pheromone while young
PNAS
Published March 19, 2018 (News release from University of British Columbia)

New insight into how female mountain pine beetles produce an important come-to-the-party pheromone could help biologists better predict outbreaks. Researchers had believed the female beetles converted toxic compounds found in the resin of pine trees they landed on into the pheromone, Trans-verbenol, to attract other insects to a suitable host tree and coordinate large-scale attacks. This study shows the beetles accumulate and store Trans-verbenol as larvae and pupae in their brood trees , and female beetles retain it until they disperse to new host trees.
Corresponding author: Joerg Bohlmann, University of British Columbia - bohlmann@msl.ubc.ca

In Case You Missed It

Arctic sea ice creates spring hazards for North Atlantic ships
Geophysical Research Letters
Published March 15, 2018

As the Arctic ice pack has declined in extent and thickness, it has become increasingly mobile. This new study connects the movement of thick multiyear sea ice from the Arctic to more southern areas where it creates shipping hazards around Newfoundland. Read more>
Corresponding author: David Babb, University of Manitboba - david.babb@umanitoba.ca

 
Global survey reveals Canadian bread is the saltiest
Survey from World Action on Salt and Health
Published March 15, 2018

Many bread products available and tested in Canada exceed Health Canada's 2016 targets for sodium, and 21 per cent of those tested exceed the recommended maximum levels. The saltiest bread in the survey of more than 2,000 bread products from 32 countries is saltier than seawater. Read more>
Canadian co-author: Anthea Christoforou, University of Toronto - anthea.christoforou@mail.utoronto.ca 

 
An aurora named Steve sheds light on Earth’s dynamic atmosphere
Science Advances
Published March 14, 2018

A ribbon of purple light in the night sky observed recently by citizen scientists and satellites alike provides visual clues to how chemical and physical processes in Earth's upper atmosphere affect lower parts of Earth's atmosphere. Although created in the same way aurora are, the strong thermal emission velocity enhancement (STEVE) travels along different magnetic-field lines at much lower latitudes and comprises a fast-moving stream of extremely hot particles. Read more from the University of Calgary and NASA>
Lead Canadian co-author: Eric Donovan, University of Calgary - edonovan@ucalgary.ca

 
Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed rodent is a baby (squirrel) killer
Ecology
Published March 15

Red squirrels kill rival males’ pups when female squirrels produce two litters so that his chances of fathering pups of his own increase when the female breeds again. Researchers observed squirrel infanticide only during years with abundant food. Read more>
Lead author: Jessica Haines, University of Alberta - jahaines@ualberta.ca

 
New $3 3D-printed stethoscope designed to save lives
PLOS ONE
Published March 14, 2018

An open-source, clinically validated template for a 3D-printed stethoscope could help people in regions with limited access to medical supplies. The stethoscope, designed using free open-source software, can be made in less than three hours and costs less than $3. Read more>
Corresponding author: Tarek Loubani, Western University - tarek@tarek.org

 
Plants faring worse than monkeys in Costa Rican forests
Primates
Published February 6, 2018

Cattle ranching, agriculture and other activities are breaking up Costa Rican forests into isolated patchy fragments, but those activities harm native plant populations more than they harm monkey species sharing the same habitat. Read more>
Lead author: Laura Bolt, University of Toronto - laura.bolt@mail.utoronto.ca

 
Bigger hummingbirds are more fuel efficient
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Published February 28, 2018

Larger hummingbirds are more efficient at converting food energy into motion than smaller species are, possibly because they needn’t beat their wings as quickly to hover. Read more>
Lead author: Derrick Groom, University of Toronto Scarborough - dgroom@umass.edu

 
Humans to blame for majority of raptor deaths in Ontario
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Published Nov 20, 2017

In the first study into common causes of death for Ontario’s birds of prey, researchers found half of the dead raptors turned in over a 23-year period had died of trauma—from either being hit by vehicles or flying into buildings. Another 17 per cent starved. Read more>
Lead author: Nicole Nemeth, University of Guelph - nnemeth@uoguelph.ca

 
Backyard gardens vital for controlling floods, storing carbon in cities
Ecosystem Applications
Published March 6, 2017

City parks and people's yards store substantially more carbon in soil than urban forests or grasslands do. Researchers also found that urban soils stored more carbon on average than nearby agricultural soils, and that urban forests and grasslands significantly reduced flooding. Read more>
Lead Canadian author: Carly Ziter, ziter@wisc.edu

 
Scientists seek new canola varieties as crop disease spreads
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Published Sept 26, 2017

As canola varieties in Canada lose their resistance to clubfoot, research into genetic resistance to the disease indicates that lignin and pectin and other cell-wall components may help the plant protect itself from the devastating fungus. Read more>
Corresponding author: Gary Peng, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Saskatchewan Research and Development Centre - gary.peng@agr.gc.ca 

 
Larger reefs help protect Caribbean fish from climate change
Marine Ecology Progress Series
Published March 12, 2018

After analyzing three decades of records, researchers found that, although Caribbean fish that prefer cooler temperatures are decreasing in dominance in the catch, the decrease is markedly less in countries with larger coral reefs. The results highlight how maintaining and restoring reef habitats may reduce climate impacts on vulnerable fish. Read more>
Corresponding author: Ravi Maharaj, University of British Columbia - r.maharaj@oceans.ubc.ca

In the News

New report on challenges faced by women pursuing science careers in the federal public service>

New survey on Canadians’ attitudes about science: Federal Information Commissioner releases report into complaints about muzzling of scientists by the Harper government: Federal funding announced for research into protecting B.C.’s endangered southern resident orcas>

Upcoming Events

On The Edge 2018 Annual Conference
Science Writers and Communicators of Canada

April 12–15, 2018; Vancouver, BC
Registration final deadline: March 29, 2018
Register here >

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