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Biology

This category contains 211 posts

Benefits of biking outweigh the negatives of air pollution

Every so often when I’m on my bike in traffic I wonder about the potential impacts of the air pollution I’m riding through. Do the benefits from riding override the negative health impacts of riding in poor air quality? Fortunately, Tainio et al (2016) asked this very question. They also included walking in their study … Continue reading

Predators that don’t hunt?

It hopefully isn’t a surprise to anyone that the natural world is changing. I mean nature changes but as Rachel Carson wrote in Silent Spring nature takes time to change. The rate of human induced change on the other hand happens on much shorter time scales, the consequences of which can be hard to predict. … Continue reading

People forget about the wild part of wildlife

I went to Banff National Park this past weekend. Mostly I avoided popular places because Covid is raging in the province. But both times I ended up where people were, I saw people getting too close to wildlife and someone feeding or intending to feed the animals. To me, this behaviour is evident of the … Continue reading

Environmentally responsible cancer treatment?

I made a video for a class project once called Oil is Personal. It followed a character through his day while looking at the positive and negative impacts he had on oil production and use. I ended the video with a question about what your priorities for oil are. Oil impacts many aspects of health … Continue reading

Exercise and childhood cancer

It’s week 3 of the Great Cycle Challenge Canada, raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer research. One of the most inspiring parts of participating in this event is the number of kids who are current or past cancer patients who ride their own distances in the challenge. Thinking of them makes it pretty insignificant … Continue reading

Cancer and climate change

For the second year, I’m riding to raise funds and awareness for kids cancer research as part of the Great Cycle Challenge Canada. On August 11, a family is matching all donations made up to $1 million. I appreciate my ability to participate in this initiative but I, of course, wish it wasn’t necessary. (My … Continue reading

Losing traditional cultures as we lose nature

I was speaking with a student who was a member of a First Nations group once about her language when she made a comment that has stuck with me for several years. She said that when she moved to the city to pursue school she had to give up part of her language. This wasn’t, … Continue reading

Tree farts

Yep, you read that correct, tree farts. I’ve been walking in Edmonton’s river valley a lot this year and I’ve noticed a lot of standing dead trees, often called snags. I don’t know if there’s actually more than normal around here but in coastal areas there has been an increase thanks to climate change. Climate … Continue reading

Intergenerational trauma impacts gene expression

With the recent devastating discovery of 215 children in unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., in Canada, the pain and fear of First Nations communities has hit front page media again. I say it this way because, in talking with individuals from First Nations communities the trauma of both first hand … Continue reading

Seriously!? An unfounded but standard “race correction”?

I’ve had pulmonary function tests, which test how well your lungs function. I don’t come out particularly well. But apparently, if I was Black my results wouldn’t look so bad. This is because there is a so-called race correction applied to results of these tests for Black patients. The thing is, this correction has no … Continue reading

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