In The News

CBC: How to safely watch the solar eclipse

August 18, 2017

With excitement leading up to the August 21 solar eclipse, people across North America are preparing to watch the event. But while tempting, there are a number of safety precautions one has to take before trying to catch a glimpse of the eclipse. "We just happen to live in this crazy geometric way that the earth, the moon and the sun are at just the right distance," he said. "It's very unique in our solar system and maybe unique in our galaxy." The last time there was a total solar eclipse in Canada was 1979, said Frank Seglenieks, and he remembers it well. "They made everybody sit in the gymnasium," the coordinator for the University of Waterloo's Weather Centre told CBC. Read the full article here.

EurekAlert: Lower prenatal stress reduces risk of behavioral issues in kids

August 17, 2017

Parenting is a complicated journey full of questions, and when a beloved child begins to show signs of a behavioural disorder, a parent's challenges become even more difficult to navigate. Expectant mothers may want to consider adopting today's trend towards stress management, in light of new research from the University of Ottawa pointing to its ability to lower the risk of problematic behaviour in their offspring. Dr. Ian Colman, associate professor at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine, led a team of researchers in examining data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. The team found that mothers who experience significant prenatal stress may be increasing their child's risk for behavioural issues. Read the full article here.

Trent University specialists study the urban habitat of the Brook trout population in Peterborough

August 14, 2017

Brook trout, one of only two indigenous trout species in Canada, prefer to live in cold, fast-running streams. But the exact requirements to support a healthy population in an urban setting are unknown. The study by Trent University in conjunction with the Kawartha Field Naturalists is designed to find out exactly what Brook trout require. The population under study live in Harper Creek, which runs along the south edge of the city of Peterborough. Staff have spent the month of July, studying which parts of the creek the trout gather in and will revisit the areas to note any changes. Read the full article here.

The Conversation: How to kill fruit flies, according to a scientist

August 10, 2017

As a researcher who works on fruit flies, I often get asked how to get them out of someone’s kitchen. This happens to fly researchers often enough that we sit around fly conferences (these actually exist) and complain about getting asked this question. Meanwhile, we watch the same fruit flies buzz around our beers instead of discussing pithy and insightful questions about the research that we’re pursuing. But I get it: Fruit flies are annoying. So, fine, here’s how we get rid of them in my lab: We build a trap. It’s not perfect, but it’s OK. Read the full article here.

YFile: York U study finds benefits for parents who participate in therapy with autistic children

August 4, 2017

Parents of children with autism experience a greater impact from their child’s therapy than once thought, according to new research out of York University’s Faculty of Health. Jonathan Weiss, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, and Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Treatment and Care Research, discovered that parents who participate in cognitive therapy with their children with autism also experience a real benefit that improves the family experience. Approximately 70 per cent of children with autism struggle with emotional or behavioural problems, and may benefit from cognitive behaviour therapy to improve their ability to manage their emotions. “Most of the time when parents bring in their kids for cognitive behaviour therapy, they are in a separate room learning what their children are doing, and are not being co-therapists,” said Weiss. “What’s unique about what we studied is what happens when parents are partners in the process from start to finish. Increasingly, we know that it’s helpful for kids with autism, specifically, and now we have proven that it’s helpful for their parents too.” Read the full article here.

TVO, Opinion: Local news is disappearing in Ontario

August 1, 2017

Postmedia owns nearly half of the daily newspapers in Canada, including the major papers in Ottawa and three provincial capitals (Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg). It owns all the daily newspapers in several large cities including Calgary and Vancouver. And Postmedia’s dwindling finances mean that it could have to shutter completely or sell off assets in the near future. But more worrying than the fate of those major papers is the future for local news if Postmedia fails. The company owns most of the small dailies published in Ontario – 27, to be exact, in places like Chatham, Cornwall, and North Bay. In some of these communities, there is no other source of news, so Postmedia’s potential demise will affect those communities even more. Northumberland Today is published weekdays in Cobourg and Port Hope, and since Postmedia took it over in 2014, the amount of local news coverage has dropped at an alarming rate. In 2008, 89 per cent of all its content – counting news, photographs and commentary – was local. Today, more than three-quarters of content is syndicated from wire news services like the Associated Press and The Canadian Press, and distributed to all Postmedia papers. Read the full article here.