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 questions or feedback, contact us at
indicates Canadian contributors. 
PLEASE NOTE: Embargoed stories may not be released, distributed, or published before the embargo date and time. Embargo violations will result in cancellation of access to our material.

Three trillion tonnes of ice lost from Antarctica since 1992
Embargoed until June 13, 2018 13:00 EDT (News release from Nature Research Press) 

The Antarctic Ice Sheet lost about 3 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017. This figure corresponds to a mean sea-level rise of about 8 millimetres. Antarctica’s ice sheets, which contain enough water to raise global sea level by 58 metres, are a key indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. 
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Canadian co-authors: Benoit Lecavalier, Memorial University of Newfoundland -; Richard Peltier, University of Toronto -

Coral coastal defence compromised by climate change

Embargoed until June 13, 2018 13:00 EDT (News release from Nature Research Press) 

The current growth rate of coral reefs in the tropical western Atlantic and Indian Ocean is almost keeping pace with projected sea-level rise, but as coral reefs protect tropical and subtropical shorelines around the globe, small island nations may lose a key contributor to coastal protection against flooding and erosion. Researchers calculated the vertical growth potential of more than 200 tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean reefs and compared these to recent and projected rates of sea-level rise under different Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change greenhouse-gas scenarios. 
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Canadian co-author: Evan Edinger, Memorial University -

Painted Lady butterflies survive round-trip across the Sahara

Biology Letters
Embargoed until June 13, 2018 19:01 EDT 

Researchers demonstrate that the Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) crosses the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean twice, travelling south to the sub-Sahara in the fall, then reversing the journey the following spring. The Palearctic–African migratory circuit is similar to that of migratory birds. However, the Painted Lady butterfly, which needs both temperate and tropical habitats to complete its multigenerational lifecycle, is one of the few insects known to survive an annual trans-Saharan circuit. 
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Canadian co-author: Clément Bataille, University of Ottawa -

Men's and women's reaction to sexual images in photos versus film
Royal Society Open Science 
Embargoed until June 13, 2018 19:01 EDT 

Researchers examined how static visual images, dynamic audiovisual films and features such as gender, sexual activity and nonsexual contextual cues influence processing of sexual stimuli in men and women. Men’s initial and controlled attention was consistently gender specific, regardless of media or the presence of sexual activity cues. In contrast, the gender specificity of women’s attention patterns differed as a function of attention, media-type and features. 
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Lead author: Samantha Dawson, Queen’s University -
Children recognize emotions from tone of voice, not language
Scientific Reports
Embargoed until June 14, 2018  
09:00 EDT (News release from Nature Research Press) 
Children recognize emotion from the sound of people’s voices both in their native language and in foreign languages, although recognition is more accurate in the native language. Researchers asked children and young adults with no foreign-language skills to identify vocal emotions of actors speaking pseudo-sentences in the subjects’ native language and three other languages in voices that expressed anger, happiness, sadness, fear and neutrality. Children also more accurately recognized angry and sad voices. 
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Canadian co-author: Marc Pell, McGill University -

In Case You Missed It

The economics of fishing the high seas
Science Advances
Published June 06, 2018

Up to 54 percent of the high seas fishing industry would be unprofitable without large government subsidies. Researchers found the industry’s global cost in 2014 ranged from $6.2 billion to $8 billion, with profits ranging from –$364 million to +$1.4 billion. Read more>
Canadian co-authors: Maria Palomares, University of British Columbia -; Daniel Pauly, University of British Columbia -; Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia -

Financial costs of conducting science in the Arctic
Arctic Science
Published May 2018

Conducting research in the Arctic is typically eight times more expensive than pursuing similar studies at a southern location. The cost differences are due to higher costs of travel, shipping, and community engagement. Read more> 
Corresponding author: Mark Mallory, Acadia University -

First Nations status and type 2 diabetes exposure before birth increase risk of type 2 diabetes
JAMA Pediatrics
Published June 11, 2018 11:00 EDT

Exposure in utero to gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes confers significantly different risk for children and young adults developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, in 467,850 offspring, First Nations status and in utero type 2 diabetes exposure conferred the highest rates of type 2 diabetes developing later. 
Lead author: Brandy Wicklow, University of Manitoba - bwicklow@hsc 

Listening, then learning: In-brain predictors of learning revealed
Published June 11, 2018 15:00 EDT 

The brains of participants with no prior music training quickly recruited the dorsal auditory-to-motor cortical pathway when participants played or passively listened to learned melodies on the cello. Neural connections between motor and auditory areas during passive listening before cello training predicted training success. Read more>
Lead author: Indiana Wollman, McGill University -

Psychedelic drug use associated with reduced partner violence in men
Journal of Psychopharmacology
Published May 29, 2018

Men who have used psychedelic drugs in the past have a lower likelihood of engaging in violence against their intimate partners. Read more>
Lead author: Michelle Thiessen, University of British Columbia Okanagan -

Ten-year study on cannabis use by youth reveals distressing results
Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science
Prevention Science
Published May 2018

Kids who start using cannabis early and continue to use it often are more likely than their peers to have co-occurring problems, poor health outcomes, and less occupational and educational success in young adulthood. Read more>
Canadian co-authors: Kara Thompson, St. Francis Xavier University -; Bonnie Leadbeater, University of Victoria -

Majority of patents on marine genetic sequences linked to corporations
Science Advances
Published June 06, 2018

When researchers examined the patents associated with marine species, they found that BASF, the world’s largest chemical manufacturer, has registered 47 per cent of the 12,998 genetic sequences from 862 marine species. Read more>
Canadian co-author: Colette Wabnitz, University of British Columbia -

How to suck carbon dioxide from the sky for fuels and more
Published June 07, 2018

By removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into fuel, engineers at Squamish, BC’s Carbon Engineering have demonstrated a scalable and cost-effective way to make deep cuts in the carbon footprint of transportation with minimal disruption to existing vehicles. Read more>
Lead author: David Keith, Harvard University and Carbon Engineering, Squamish, BC -

Fuelling a deep-sea ecosystem
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Published June 11, 2018 15:00 EDT 

Deep-sea hydrothermal vent microbial communities worldwide produce more than 4,000 tonnes of carbon each day—roughly the same amount of carbon in 200 blue whales. This makes these subseafloor ecosystems among the ocean's most productive on a per volume basis. Read more>
Canadian co-author: Jesse McNichol, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute -

Mars’ methane cycle is seasonal
Published June 08, 2018

Data collected by the Curiosity rover reveal that background methane levels range seasonally on Mars, from 0.24 to 0.65 parts per billion, peaking near the end of summer in the Northern hemisphere. Researchers suggest seasonal temperature changes cause the observed methane fluctuations. Read more> 
Canadian co-authors: John Moores, York University -; Christina Smith, York University -

Wait times for urgent hip fracture surgery in Ontario still too long
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Published June 11, 2018 00:15 EDT 

Two-thirds of patients admitted to hospital in Ontario for hip fracture did not receive surgery during the recommended time window of 24 hours, and whether patients receive surgery on time is arbitrary, and depends on the hospital. Read more>
Canadian co-author: Daniel Pincus, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and University of Toronto - 

In the News

G7 fossil fuel subsidy scorecard, June 2018
Despite repeated pledges to end fossil fuel subsidies, G7 countries provided at least $100 billion annually (2015 and 2016) in government support for the production and consumption of oil, gas and coal, both at home and abroad. Read more>
Prime Minister names Patricia Fuller as new Ambassador for Climate Change
Read the June 05, 2018 news release>

Of Interest

  • Communications Lead, Pembina Institute, Edmonton
    Applications due June 17; Information>
  • Manager of Communications, Perimeter Institute, Waterloo
    Applications due June 19; Information>
  • Director General, Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa
    Applications due June 25; Information>
  • News Editor, MIT Tech Review, Boston

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