In The News

CBC: What a waste! University of Guelph study looks at food people throw out

March 17, 2017

People don't like to talk about how much food they waste. But for her master's project, Carley Fraser asked Guelph residents to not only talk about their food waste – she asked them to photograph it. "I decided to use photos so I'd have a starting point for people to talk about their food waste," Fraser told CBC News. "Waste is often hidden from us so it brings attention to the moment when waste happens so we could talk about it." Working with the Guelph Food Waste Research Group at the University of Guelph, she surveyed 22 households about what food they were throwing out and why. Homeowners were asked to take between 12 and 24 photos of moments they recognized that their food was going to waste or anything they thought was part of their household food waste. Read the full article here.

MetroNews: McMaster University researchers find glimmer of hope against superbug

March 17, 2017

Here’s a sentence you never want to hear in the hospital: ‘It’s a superbug, and we’re out of drugs to try.’ Especially after a sick loved one has suffered through round after round of antibiotics, with gruesome side effects but no improvement. Superbugs are bacterial infections impervious to our most powerful medications. And they’re on the rise. But a team of researchers at McMaster University has found a glimmer of hope in the fight against them, thanks to a very old drug. How did they do it? By taking a moonshot. Dr. Eric Brown and his team tested 1,440 drugs with expired patents (read: cheap drugs) against three of the gnarliest superbugs, both in a dish in the lab and in living mice. They found one that worked: pentamidine, a drug used since the 1930s to fight parasites. Read the full article here.

CBC: How social media brings reputation risk for St. Patrick’s revelers

March 17, 2017

A University of Waterloo professor who studies social media says students who drink and party to excess on St Patrick's Day face far greater consequences from their outrageous actions being documented online than from any ticket issued by a police officer. It comes as law enforcement agencies to issue their usual reminders student party goers ahead of St Patrick's Day celebrations in college towns across Canada. Still, students have less to fear from a policing perspective than they do from a personal perspective, says University of Waterloo English professor Aimée Morrison, whose work focuses on multi-media and language. "You really don't want that photo of you throwing up in someone's rose bushes haunting Google searches of you forever," she said in an interview with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's The Morning Edition Thursday. Read the full article here.

BrantNews: Laurier team designs escape room for first-ever world championship

March 10, 2017

When the best escape-room players in the world go head-to-head in Budapest, Hungary, later this month they will be tackling a never-before-seen escape room designed by a team from Brantford’s Wilfrid Laurier University campus. “They had the chance to work on a project that will literally be seen around the world,” said Scott Nicholson, professor and program co-ordinator at Laurier’s game design and development program. Nicholson, who is a recognized expert in the field of escape rooms, and three of his undergraduate students spent last summer helping to create and test some of the puzzles, clues, riddles and problems that teams will face at the first Escape Room World Championship. Escape rooms are growing in popularity as a recreational and team-building exercise. Players are “locked” in a room and forced to find their way out by solving a series of challenges. Brantford has one on Roy Boulevard, Escape Key, which opened in 2014. Read the full article here.

CBC: Could the city of Guelph run solely on renewable energy?

March 6, 2017

A city run entirely on renewable energy. It might seem like a pipe dream, but it's a goal some communities around the globe are setting. Residents in Guelph are being asked to start a conversation on the topic by Emerge Guelph, an organization that offers advice to residents on how to save money on energy and how they can help the environment. "We know that, in theory, it's possible. It is absolutely possible to be a 100 percent renewable energy city," said University of Guelph assistant professor and energy expert Kirby Calvert, who will be part of an event later this month. "The question is what we're willing to do to achieve that." It could mean solar panels. It could mean wind turbines. It could mean harnessing geothermal energy. Or it could mean buying energy from another entity that produces the renewable energy. Read the full article here.

CTV News: ‘Oldest record of life on Earth’ found in Quebec

March 6, 2017

The oldest known signs of life on Earth have been found in northern Quebec, buried in a sheet of potentially 4.3 billion-year-old bedrock that once formed the bottom of the planet's first ocean. An international team of scientists found fossilized traces of bacteria in iron ore samples taken from the Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt, a rare surviving chunk of the planet's early crust now situated at the northern tip of Quebec. The discovery pushes the scientific timeline for life on Earth back by 100-600 million years, to an era when the no longer molten-hot planet was covered by shallow oceans and dotted by volcanic islands. Study co-author Jonathan O'Neil, of the University of Ottawa, says the fossilized remains are the "oldest record of life on Earth," and could offer clues about the emergence of life on our planet and others. The fossilized remains were found near what's thought to have once been a hydrothermal vent, where swirling heat, chemicals and minerals may have given rise to the first single-celled organisms. "We're not talking about these complex forms of life on the early Earth, but this is where we think it actually happened," O'Neil told by phone on Wednesday. He added that the discovery may make it easier to find life on other planets, because it demonstrates that ancient sea floors are prime spots for finding the early signs of life. Read the full article here.