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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 may not be released, distributed, or published before the embargo date and time. Embargo violations will result in cancellation of access to our material.

Iconic Burgess Shale creature reconstructed

Royal Society Open Science
Embargoed until June 20, 2018 19:01 EDT (Brief from Royal Society)

Waptia fieldensis Walcott, 1912 is an iconic animal from the middle Cambrian Burgess Shale biota in British Columbia that had lacked a formal description since its discovery at the beginning of the 20th century. Drawing on some 1,800 specimens, researchers three-dimensionally reconstructed the ~508-million-year-old animal’s functional anatomy. The shrimp-like animal’s compound eyes, antennae, mandibles, and swimming and breathing appendages shed light on the early evolution of mandibled arthropods and crustaceans.
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Canadian co-authors: Rod Taylor, Memorial University of Newfoundland - rodt@mun.ca; Jean-Bernard Caron, Royal Ontario Museum - jcaron@rom.on.ca 
 

A new terrestrial palaeo-environmental record from the Bering Land Bridge

Royal Society Open Science
Embargoed until June 20, 2018 19:01 EDT (Brief from Royal Society) 

The timing of the earliest unequivocal human dispersals into Alaska over the Bering Land Bridge corresponds with a shift to warmer and wetter conditions in the region between ~14,700 and ~13,500 years ago. Researchers reconstructed the terrestrial climate from the last glacial maximum, about 21,500 years ago, to the present from the Bering Land Bridge’s south–central margin. The environmental changes may have spurred humans’ eastward dispersal from western or central Beringia after a long period of little human movement in the region.
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Canadian co-authors: Les Cwynar, University of New Brunswick - cwynar@unb.ca; Josh Kurek, Mount Allison University - jkurek@mta.ca; Andrew Medeiros, York University - andrewmedeiros@trentu.ca
 

A new fossil marine lizard with soft tissues from 70–75 million years ago

Royal Society Open Science
Embargoed until June 20, 2018 19:01 EDT (Brief from Royal Society) 

A new and exceptionally well-preserved fossil marine lizard from southern Italy, represents a new species that belongs to a controversial extinct group of animals, called dolichosaurs, that are closely related to snakes and mosasaurs. The specimen includes fossilized muscles, skin, and other elements such as cartilage and gut contents that are rarely preserved. Dolichosaurs were thought to have gone extinct about 85 million years ago.  This specimen is only about 70–75 million years old.
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Lead author: Ilaria Paparella, University of Alberta - paparell@ualberta.ca
 

Who takes the most risks, and when? 
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Embargoed until June 20, 2018 19:01 EDT (Brief from Royal Society)

A new mathematical model shows organisms in good condition take the most risks when their condition gives them higher probabilities of success, higher gains from success, or higher buffering against failure. Conversely, organisms in poor condition take the most risks when poor condition causes desperation. Under specific conditions, the riskiest individuals are those in intermediate condition, or extremely good and bad condition. 
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Lead author: Pat Barclay University of Guelph - barclayp@uoguelph.ca

In Case You Missed It

Pesticide-free way to combat mosquitos and West Nile
PLOS One
Published April 12, 2018

Introducing hungry minnows into bodies of water where mosquitoes breed results in the minnows feeding on mosquito larvae, which dramatically decreases the number of adult mosquitoes capable of carrying the disease. Read more>
Corresponding author: Brad Fedy, University of Waterloo - bfedy@uwaterloo.ca
 
Under climate change, fish are outpacing fishing regulations
Science
Published June 15, 2018

Researchers determined that at least 70 countries will see new fish stocks in their waters in the next few decades if greenhouse gas emissions continue on current trajectories. Read more> 
Canadian co-author: William Cheung, University of British Columbia - w.cheung@oceans.ubc.ca
 
Gravity of human impacts mediates coral reef conservation gains
PNAS
Published June 18, 2018 15:00 EDT

Fish stocks are extremely depleted on reefs that were accessible to large human populations, says an international team of researchers examining the effectiveness of different reef conservation strategies on nearly 1,800 coral reefs around the world. Read more>
Canadian co-authors: Aaron MacNeil, Dalhousie University - a.macneil@dal.ca; Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia - r.sumaila@oceans.ubc.ca
 
Ancient agricultural activity caused lasting environmental changes
Science Advances
Published June 13, 2018

Increases in deforestation and agricultural activity in Bronze Age Ireland continue to affect Earth’s critical nitrogen cycle today. Read more>
Canadian authors: Eric Guiry, University of British Columbia - eguiry@mun.ca; Michael Richards, Simon Fraser University - michael_richards@sfu.ca; Paul Szpak, Trent University - paulszpak@trentu.ca
 
A luminous X-ray outburst from an intermediate-mass black hole 
Nature Astronomy
Published June 18, 2018

Astronomers discover an intermediate-mass black hole with a mass tens of thousand times that of the Sun.
Canadian co-author: Stephen Gwyn, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, Victoria - Stephen.Gwyn@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
 
Climate targets could increase cost of meeting sustainable development goals 
Nature Energy
Published June 18, 2018 

The potential cost of meeting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals while moving away from fossil fuel use could be in the tens of billions of dollars per year.
Read more> 
Canadian co-author: Simon Parkinson, University of Victoria - scp@uvic.ca
 
The rise and fall of students' depressive symptoms
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Published June 2018

Symptoms of depression among university students tend to peak in December, just as end-of-term papers become due and final exams loom. Read more>
Corresponding author: Erin Barker, Concordia University - Erin.Barker@concordia.ca
 
When it comes to earning potential, it pays to be a dad
Work, Employment and Society 
Published April 30, 2018

Men often receive a wage boost when they become fathers—even if they’re not working harder. When their work is scrutinized more closely, the wage boost is often reduced or eliminated. Read more>
Corresponding author: Sylvia Fuller, University of British Columbia - sylvia.fuller@ubc.ca
 
Wrinkle your eyes to appear sincere
Emotion
Published June 11, 2018

Our brains are pre-wired to perceive wrinkles around the eyes as conveying more intense and more sincere emotions—providing evidence of a possible universal language for reading emotions. Read more>
Lead author: Julio Martinez-Trujillo, Western University - julio.martinez@uwo.ca
 
Researchers map brain of blind patient who can see motion
Neuropsychologia
Published online May 9, 2018

This detailed characterization of a single patient’s visual system reveals that profound recovery of vision is possible, based on perception of motion, after catastrophic injury. Read more>
Corresponding author: Jody Culham, Western University - jculham@uwo.ca
 
Could we feed seaweed to cows?
Nature Communications
Published March 13, 2018

Research into how the human-gut microbes use seawood sugars reveals potential for shaping the microbiomes within cattle intestines to better digest the difficult-to-digest sugars in seaweed. Read more>
Canadian co-authors: Wade Abbott, Agriculture and Agi-Food Canada, Lethbridge - Wade.Abbott@AGR.GC.CA; Alisdair Boraston, University of Victoria - boraston@uvic.ca
 

Cannabis does not increase suicidal behavior in psychiatric patients
Biology of Sex Differences
Published June 11, 2018

Contrary to pre-existing data showing cannabis is linked to increased chance of suicidal behavior in the general population, researchers found no significant association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in people with psychiatric disorders. Results from a small subset of participants suggest heaviness of cannabis use increased risk of suicidal behavior in men. Read more>
Lead author: Zainab Samaan, McMaster University - samaanz@mcmaster.ca

News Tips

Assessing Canada’s drug shortage problem
Read the June 5 report from the C.D. Howe Institute>

To prevent sexual harassment, academic institutions should go beyond legal compliance to promote changes in culture
A report from US National Academies of Science
Read the June 12 news release>
 

Canada’s Conservation Vision
Read the June 15 report from the National Advisory Panel for ECCC>
More information about the National Advisory Panel> 

Of Interest

Scientists, students to broadcast live from Canada’s Northwest Passage
Embargoed until June 21, 2018 09:30 EDT
Read the news release from University Of Rhode Island, Inner Space Centre>
Join the June 21 news teleconference (09:30 EDT)> 
Advance interviews are available.
Onboard Canadian science team member: Carina Gjerdrum, Canadian Wildlife Service - carina.gjerdrum@canada.ca
 

Canadian Science Publishing seeks Communications Specialist (one-year contract, full-time)
Term: August 13, 2018, to August 30, 2019
Information>

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