Faculty of Science

News

  • CBC News - Beyond Pluto: 5 things left to explore in our solar system - With New Horizons' flyby of Pluto, spacecraft launched by humans have now visited the nine biggest planets (dwarf or otherwise) orbiting the sun. Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, has called the mission "the last picture show." That may sound a bit depressing to those of us captivated by our first close-up glimpses of Pluto. But don't worry – it isn't really the last picture show. Not by a long shot.


  • CBC News - The bad news for Western drought: 'monster' hot El Nino on the way - Many meteorologists are chalking up today's weird and wacky weather in the West to the fact that this is an El Nino year, referring to the cyclical Pacific Ocean phenomenon that disrupts global weather patterns.


  • Science - Lost worlds found - For decades, scientists have debated why megafauna disappeared from the Arctic and much of the rest of the world. Did a fluctuating climate drive species to extinction? Or did humans, in their relentless expansion across the globe, kill off the big game in an ancient hunting spree? Now, ancient DNA data have entered the fray, most recently in the form of molecules scooped directly from samples of soil or ice. By sequencing whatever DNA emerges from even a thimbleful of ancient soil, researchers are reconstructing ancient ecosystems as far back as 700,000 years ago with astonishing clarity.


  • Discovery News - Arctic Crater Preps New Astronaut for Space - On the day NASA's New Horizons mission flew past Pluto, astronaut Jeremy Hansen was busy exploring a new world of his own. It's big, it's deep, it's just all-around spooky, and so far no one has a clue how it got there! But the big honkin' crater in Siberia didn't just appear there out of thin air ... er, did it?


  • Globe and Mail - Earthquakes shake Alberta town’s faith in fracking - "Chevron, Shell, Exxon and other major players are investing billions of dollars in the hills around Fox Creek, sinking more than 700 wells in the past three years. But the people of Fox Creek are wondering about the costs of that potential windfall. It was once a seismically stable area with about one measurable earthquake a year. More than 160 have been detected since December, 2013, about the time hydraulic fracturing began in earnest."


  • CTV News London - Small MRI scanner idea gets big bucks - A London researcher is getting a 2.6 million dollar provinical grant for a small idea that could have a big future.


  • Ottawa Citizen - Bat watchers wanted as scientists track spread of deadly fungus - As North American bats continue to die off by the millions, biologists are turning to “citizen science” for help tracking the spread of a deadly fungus that is driving some once common species to the brink of extinction.