Archive: July 2021

Social Initiatives

Although currently, Father’s Day is well-known and widely celebrated, it is a relatively new holiday, and became mainstream much later than Mother’s Day. Now though, in many countries, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of the month of June. However, across the world there exist many other dates on which father’s are especially appreciated, for instance on March 19th in Spain, Portugal and Italy. But wherever you are, there are many ways you can celebrate this day, even despite COVID-19 restrictions, like playing games together, watching a movie, or cooking a meal.

Change is hard. Yet there is an excitement in the unknown, an excitement that can be unleashed by pushing your boundaries and getting out of your comfort zone. Growth is a lifelong process that can only be achieved by abandoning comfort, confronting fear, and accepting what is to come! This summer, try getting out of your comfort zone by reconnecting with an old friend, trying a new sport, or reading a book by a new author. You can even collect these ideas into a big summer bucket list and challenge yourself to complete one activity every day. Good luck!

Gaming is a useful way to connect with people, especially during the pandemic when social interaction is difficult to come by. However, it can quickly become an addiction if the time spent gaming is not monitored wisely. This addiction can have negative consequences on other aspects of your life, such as not being able to focus on other activities and being unable to cope with negative emotions without constantly gaming. Fortunately, games addictions can be treated with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of treatment.

The simple yet intricate impression of a fingerprint has paved the way for the scientific field of forensics. Fingerprints, made up of tiny ridges, whorls, and valleys, are unique and a reliable method of identification. They have become an essential part of forensics science—the field of applying scientific methods to the judicial system. The process involves fingerprint collection and analysis, which must be conducted with extreme care to ensure the validity of fingerprint evidence in an investigation. With increasing research on the effortless imprint of a finger, where will this biological tool be used next?

Destructive heat waves have recently hit parts of western North America. A heat wave is defined as an unusually hot time for a given region, often accompanied by higher levels of humidity. They’re formed when higher-pressured-air settles at higher altitudes, forcing the hotter air closer to ground-level. More unpredictable, intense weather is a trickle effect of climate change, and the record breaker heat waves that have been happening are an example of this. Heat waves can have a number of adverse effects on the body, so it is important to protect yourself by staying inside where possible, and wearing protective clothing. SPF is also very important during a heat wave. The rise in heat-related casualties as a result of the recent heat waves is extremely alarming, and should be taken seriously.

Being told to apply sunscreen, especially on days out at the beach, is not a new concept. Breaking down exactly why we need it, however, may be. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is emitted from the sun, and, with moderated exposure, increases vitamin D production which aids with calcium and phosphorus absorption. It has a shorter wavelength due to its place on the electromagnetic spectrum, so human eyes cannot pick it up. Looking at the labels on sunscreen products, seeing UVB/UVA is common. UVA is associated with skin cancer, while UVB is associated with burns. The two main types of sunscreens are mineral and chemical, with the primary difference being ingredients. Broad spectrum protection and SPF (sun protection factor) are also common labels on products that help consumers determine its usefulness.  Applying enough sunscreen, remembering to reapply it,  avoiding exposed skin for prolonged periods, and staying in the shade are all tips that can help reduce your risk of skin cancer. In order to prevent premature aging, burns, and cancer, sunscreen is a crucial element to our wellbeing.

Stargazing in and of itself does not have any single definition. You may simply tilt your head upwards during a nighttime drive, or peering through a telescope at an observation tower. A star is composed of hot gasses that take on a spherical form. The Sun  is the hottest star, with it actually being white- and only appearing orange/yellow/red due to a number of atmospheric conditions on earth. Temperature also indicates temperature, with blue being the hottest, and red the coolest. When a star reaches the end of its life, it releases a number of gases that will be used by new stars. The primary elements of stars are hydrogen and helium. They burn hydrogen into helium, and this is when nuclear fusion occurs. Nuclear fusion describes when stars become heavier than the aforementioned lighter elements. The best areas to stargaze are as far out as possible from polluted, smoggy areas like a large city. NNational parks, for example, are preserved areas that are perfect for the act of stargazing. Constellations may also be observed when stargazing. They’re patterns in the sky that humans have a long history of trying to make sense out of. Aside from the astronomical details, stargazing can be a magical experience for you and your family, and can serve as an easy pathway to bonding.

Charlene Rocha is a youth activist that is active in various organizations for an array of causes ranging from environmental issues to anti-Black racism. Charlene began her journey as an activist through volunteering her time with grassroots lobbying, and independent work. She's currently the president of an organization that builds prosthetics and is an executive member on a committee that works to combat anti-blackness. She took her first steps as an activist when attending a protest with her sibling, and was inspired by the voices she heard there. Hearing the vast experiences and struggles of the voices at the protests she attended sparked a fire that would initiate her involvement. A subject she's particularly passionate about is Indigenous issues, such as the pipelines that are actively protested against by Indigenous people and other activists. She was also the recipient of the Ontario Student Voice awards. Charlene believes that youth getting involved in causes is beneficial for our future, as it is our youth who will eventually take on positions of leadership around the globe. Charlene states that getting started can definitely be intimidating, but through educating yourself, asking questions, and remaining grounded in your principles for involvement, you’re prepared to grow as an activist.

 

Scientific News

The world is regaining normalcy and several hundred thousand Canadians are receiving vaccinations by the day. Despite this, you might still have concerns about the vaccine, and your worries are understandable! However, the vaccine is safe, accessible, and important for the health and safety of you and those around you. The more individuals who retain this knowledge and get vaccinated, the quicker we will safely return to our greatly missed everyday lives. This article aims to do just that, covering topics including vaccine myths and facts, the importance of vaccination, a comprehensive breakdown of current approved vaccines, and a step-by-step guide to booking your appointment. Take a read, share it with a friend, and get your COVID-19 vaccinations!

Dissociative Identity Disorder, which you may also know as multiple personality disorder, has been especially poorly portrayed by the media and pop culture. This has caused many stigmas and stereotypes to arise regarding this condition, which is often confused with other disorders, and viewed as an extremely rare and violent disease. In reality, it is more common than many other disorders like schizophrenia, and does not increase crime or violence rates. The disease often develops as a result of trauma, typically later in life, and can be mitigated by a variety of psychological therapies. Although it cannot be explicitly cured, its symptoms can be controlled and research is ongoing to help  improve the quality of life of those with the condition.

Formula 1 Racing is the highest level of motorsport and is governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). When constructing a car to race, teams and engineers must follow a set of ‘formulas’ or rules to ensure fair racing. One way of ensuring the rules are the use of wind tunnels; large machines that generate an air current aimed at the car to test and analyse it’s aerodynamics during construction.

Stem cell therapy is an innovative science that aims to regenerate or promote the repair of injured and dysfunctional tissue with the use of stem cells. Stem cells can be used for transplants as well as for slowing down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In particular, many studies are being conducted right now to explore the possibility of not only slowing the progression of MS, but also reversing some of the neural damage associated with it.

Since the start of the pandemic, the use of technology has increased significantly, and so have many people’s screen times. This has exposed us to significantly more blue light, which has been shown to have detrimental effects on our bodies, especially when looking at screens close-up for extended periods of time. In fact, this light can cause damage to our eyes, as well as to our sleep cycles. However, these effects can be prevented with the right steps, such as changing device settings, avoiding screens before bedtime, and using the 20-20-20 rule.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at strategic points. It is said to restore the unbalanced energy (Qi) in the body, which helps to relieve pain and improve overall wellness. As of now, it is unclear whether the effects of acupuncture are scientifically backed. There are studies out there that suggest there is no relationship between acupuncture and health. However, there are also studies that suggest there is a relationship between stimulation of acupoints and brain reactions. This research looks promising, but is still relatively new.

GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms originated many hundreds of years ago, when farmers used selective and cross-breeding techniques on their crops and livestock to acquire desirable traits. Since then, GMOs have become much more advanced in their capacities, and serve to help in a variety of different fields, from insulin in medicine, to corn in agriculture. However, the economic and environmental implications of GMOs have been raised as concerns over the past few decades as they may have an effect on smaller farming businesses as well as our ecosystems. Ongoing research will hopefully provide us with further information as to how we can use GMOs responsibly.

As the name suggests, ocean acidification is an ocean becoming more acidic or, in other words, the ongoing decrease in the pH of the world’s ocean over an extended period of time.
Climate change has been one of the biggest concerns in the 20th century. Human development has been progressing exponentially, resulting in high rates of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Ocean acidification has become a more prevalent environmental issue due to an increase in anthropogenic activities. Read on to find out about the other 4 W’s (and one H) of ocean acidification!

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body cannot properly process or convert food into energy. A patient with diabetes cannot produce the hormone insulin, which is necessary to regulate blood sugar and the release of energy into the bloodstream. Insulin therapy, which was developed in the early 20th century, works by injecting a liquid solution of insulin into the body multiple times a day. It can prevent complications from the disease and has saved the lives of many. However, the accessibility of insulin therapy treatment is still an issue in countries like the United States, which does not have universal healthcare. This is why many still question the ethicality of the insulin production business in the United States and the lack of universal healthcare as a fundamental human right.

Antibiotic resistance is a more frequent concern of many doctors and biologists alike. It occurs when targeted bacteria are able to bounce back in strength and number, despite the use of prescription antibiotic medication. Resistance can  occur when medication has been obtained without a proper prescription. It may also occur due to antibiotics being over-prescribed by doctors and veterinarians, in addition to them being over-used by many. Preventative measures include a sterile doctor’s office or only dispensing antibiotics when necessary. A recently researched technique aims to dismantle the defenses put up by antibiotic resistant bacteria, which would improve their effectiveness overtime. This new technique has only been tested on mice so far, but if it does move on to further phases in research, it could become a significant tool in combating antibiotic resistance.

Despite the fact that the human genome has around 30,000 genes, our cells only express a handful of them for daily functions. For example, the difference between a liver cell and a heart cell are determined by the gene expression. According to Science Daily, their gene expression could mean the difference between health and disease. Because of previous imaging approaches, studying underlying disorders has been a limited field. The University of Michigan Medical School, led by Jun Hee Lee, Ph. D, recently developed a new technique that uses high throughput sequencing instead of a microscope.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has experienced crippling lockdowns, seen exponential case numbers, and felt isolation like never before. Yet we have also witnessed something incredible: the development of a vaccine in less than a single year. In this article, travel through an in-depth timeline of the vaccine race and observe trial progressions, efficacy reportings, and the successes and failures of Canada. Through this reflection, we hope to answer one valuable question: what did we learn from this unique journey?

At the nanoscale, properties of materials such as chemical reactivity, strength, and electrical conductivity, are different from normal. As a result, nanotechnology, and its ability to alter consumer products, has many vital environmental purposes. In the form of carbon nanotubes, nanotechnology can improve wind turbine strength and efficacy. When designed into nanowires, they act as a useful tool in cleaning oil spills. Currently, research is being conducted for the incorporation of nanotechnology into agriculture, with the goal of expanding sustainable food production globally.

Psychopathy is an antisocial personality disorder where someone manifests extreme amoral behaviour. Psychopathy is considered a controversial idea in psychology. The disorder is characterized by the absence of empathy, manipulation, pathological lying, and impulsivity. Many psychopaths appear normal and charming on the surface but lack any semblance of conscience deep down.

 

Les articles en français

Cette année a été intense pour tout le monde, certains plus que d'autres. L'interaction sociale est une nécessité pour les êtres humains. Sur une note positive, les choses s'améliorent et l'avenir s'éclaircit de jour en jour. Ne stressez pas, voyez les choses ainsi : plus de plusieurs centaines de milliers de personnes se font vacciner en une seule journée au Canada et près de 80 % des Canadiens de 12 ans et plus ont reçu leur première dose. L'Ontario a déclaré qu'ils seraient ouverts le 1er septembre et pour les écoles, les cours en ligne restent une option pour ceux qui veulent continuer en ligne.

La thérapie par cellules souches est une technologie innovante qui vise à régénérer ou à favoriser la réparation de tissus blessés et dysfonctionnels grâce à l'utilisation de cellules souches. Les cellules souches sont des cellules pures et brutes que l'on peut trouver dans le corps, mais qui sont plus répandues dans les embryons, sans fonction spécifique. Ce sont des cellules à partir desquelles toutes les autres cellules spécialisées peuvent générer leur propre fonction par un processus appelé différenciation.

L'observation des étoiles n'a pas une seule signification fixe ; elle en a peut-être plus d'un milliard qui remontent à nos ancêtres. Il s'agit essentiellement de regarder les étoiles, mais le but change d'une personne à l'autre. L'importance pour vous peut être une forme, une personne, une signification visuelle ou intérieure.