In The News

The Toronto Star: Falling lake an omen of change in global permafrost landscape

December 23, 2015

By: Staff Reporter Like Humpty Dumpty on top of a wall, a clifftop lake just had a great fall. The dramatic drainage event was video-recorded by Northwest Territories Geological Survey (NTGS), which used remote cameras to catch the gushing action on July 15. The recently released footage shows the equivalent of an icy mudslide in which half of the lake’s volume — estimated to be about 30,000 cubic metres of water, comparable to a dozen Olympic-sized swimming pools — was drained in about two hours by way of a 10- to 15-metre-high temporary waterfall. Things took a turn for the worst on the Peel Plateau when a thawing embankment surrounding the 1.5-hectare lake gave way, causing it to pour into a valley below. This thaw slump — a result of ice-rich permafrost thawing — had been growing for about a decade by the time it collapsed.

UOttawa Gazette: Research on rehabilitation to be conducted… in space!

December 15, 2015

For the first time in the University of Ottawa's history, a research team will conduct a study in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency. Led by Dr. Guy Trudel and Professor Odette Laneuville from the Ottawa Bone and Joint Research Laboratory (BJRL) at the University of Ottawa, the MARROW study will focus on astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS). This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Canadian Space Agency. MARROW is the short for the project title, “Bone Marrow Adipose Reaction: Red or White?” The study focuses on the biology of rehabilitation, more specifically on the impact of long-term microgravity exposure on bone marrow content and activity. Read the full article here.

The Toronto Star: New University of Toronto study shows negative aging stereotypes affects hearing, memory

December 15, 2015

If you believe growing old will claim your memory and degrade your senses, it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, a new study has found. Negative perceptions about aging, and what will happen to our minds and bodies as the years wear on, can influence how we feel about ourselves and, by extension, have an impact on how we go into that dark night, says a study published in the December issue of Psychology and Aging. “People’s feelings about getting older influence our sensory and cognitive functions,” says University of Toronto psychology professor Alison Chasteen, lead author of the study titled “Do Negative Views of Aging Influence Memory and Auditory Performance Through Self-Perceived Abilities?” Read the full article here.

CBC.ca: Arthur McDonald, Canadian scientist, formally awarded Nobel Prize for physics

December 11, 2015

Canadian scientist Arthur McDonald was formally presented Thursday with his Nobel Prize at a ceremony in Stockholm, but received a prized gift earlier in the week from one his idols, former Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin. McDonald, a native of Sydney, N.S., and a retired professor from Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., was the co-winner in physics for his work on tiny particles known as neutrinos. "It is a great honour to receive this prize," McDonald said in a statement. Read the full article here.

Ottawa Community News: uOttawa researchers discover link between gene, high blood pressure

December 11, 2015

University of Ottawa researchers have discovered a link between a specific gene and high blood pressure, which could lead to improved treatment of the condition.

The group of molecular cardiologists found the link while conducting research on mice to figure out whether the gene variant – called GATA5 – had any correlation to congenital heart disease.

Instead, they found that an absence of the gene was linked to an increase in high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

“Our findings in mice who lack GATA5 are consistent with the traits of human essential hypertension and led us to examine the status of this gene in hypertensive individuals,” said Dr. Mona Nemer, the professor who led the group.

“Our study opens up new avenues for the prevention of hypertension and its associated health complications.”

High blood pressure affects 20 per cent of adults in Canada and leads to an estimated seven million deaths from heart failure in North America every year.

 Read the full article here.

University of Ottawa Media Release: Bio-hacking scientist Andrew Pelling selected as a TED Fellow

December 11, 2015

Professor Andrew Pelling, cross-appointed to the Department of Biology and the Department of Physics, has been selected as a TED Fellow, making him one of two Canadians to join a class of 21 change-makers from around the world in February 2016 who will share ideas worth spreading from the TED stage in Vancouver. Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program brings together extraordinary young people to join the global TED community, creating a platform to drive awareness of their ambitious, cross-disciplinary work. Each year, a group of innovators is chosen to attend the TED or TEDGlobal Conference and partake in an exclusive pre-conference, where they can share ideas and engage in skill-building workshops. The fellows also give a TED talk at the conference, providing them with the opportunity to share their vision and passion for their work. “It's a remarkable opportunity,” says Professor Pelling. “TED fellows are thought leaders and change-makers from incredibly diverse backgrounds who challenge convention and work in the spaces between disciplines. I'm both honoured and humbled to be part of such an impressive group of people.” As Canada Research Chair in Experimental Cell Mechanics at the University of Ottawa, Professor Pelling heads up a highly exploratory space where scientists, engineers and artists work alongside each other in a culture of cross-disciplinary creativity. Known for pushing cellular systems to artificial limits, the Pelling Lab for Biophysical Manipulation uses non-genetic and non-pharmacological approaches in the pursuit of creating artificial tissues and organs that do not exist naturally. Read the full article here.