How baby’s first breath triggers life-saving changes in the brain

Discovery may help explain cases of sudden infant death syndrome

How baby’s first breath triggers life-saving changes in the brainAt the moment of birth, the essential role of delivering life-saving oxygen to the baby switches from mom and her placenta to the baby’s lungs and brain. That the timing of this happens so precisely is miraculous, but how it happens remains largely a mystery. New research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, in…

How trees produce spectacular autumn colours

The intensity of the colours is related to weather conditions before and during the time the chlorophyll in the leaves is declining

How trees produce spectacular autumn coloursWe’re fortunate to live in a place and a climate where our four seasons are distinct. Enough natural foliage persists for us to see and admire broad palettes of colour in September, October and even early November. Although foreshadowing the onset of winter, hues of orange, red, yellow and brown intermingle with shades of green.…

Dinosaur fossil fingers reveal new species

U of A alumnus leads study uncovering a new species of oviraptorid

Dinosaur fossil fingers reveal new speciesA collection of three fossilized bird-like dinosaurs with surprising fingers has resulted in the discovery of an entirely new species by a team led by a University of Alberta alumnus. “This study focuses on a spectacular fossil – a block of three bird-like dinosaurs preserved together,” said Greg Funston, lead author of the study. Funston completed…

Survival of the fittest, from a very young age

Some orphaned babies are unlikely to survive if very young but others can fend for themselves at an early age

Survival of the fittest, from a very young ageI was working on a breeding bird survey recently and encountered a scene that was both moving and shocking. Huddled in the short grass on the shoulder of the road was a baby raccoon, only days old, snuggled up beside its mother. At first I thought the scene was a Disney moment – one of…

We can – and must – stop our plastic legacy

Countless animals ingest plastics and die. Do we care? Do we care that these plastics are now in the human food chain?

We can – and must – stop our plastic legacyWe often see news items about the environmental impact of single-use plastic straws. And we want to do something, which is good. Costa Rica plans to ban single-use plastics. At a recent G7 summit, the nations condemned single use straws and said they will discuss the matter at a future meeting. But no action has…
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