Hayley McKay

Breaking the Rules: How Witchweed Wreaks Havoc on Sub-Saharan Crops

Lumba Lab research sheds light on germination mechanisms of the parasitic plant “We asked, ‘How does it break the rules?’ ” mused Michael Bunsick, a graduate student in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. “By figuring out how it breaks the rules, we actually learned what the rules are.”  Bunsick …

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Science and Society: Reasons and Solutions for Negative Public Opinions

The relationship between science and the general public can be a challenging one. There are lots of concerns when it comes to necessity, use and implementation of new scientific technologies.  A recent study from the Pew Research Center was conducted to better understand the relationship between science and society. Taking a representative sample of the general …

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Scientist Profile: Barbara McClintock

Meet Barbara McClintock, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who revolutionized the field of modern genetics. Although McClintock is unfortunately not as well-known as other scientists, her contributions to genetics are immeasurable. Throughout her career, McClintock is credited with making ground-breaking discoveries in cytogenetics – the structure and function of chromosomes – where she studied maize (corn). …

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Real Life Zombies

The story of fungal mind control Did you know that zombies exist in real life? It all starts with an ant living happily in a rainforest. The ant goes about its daily life but what it doesn’t know is that a fungus has found its way into the ant’s body. This fungus is no ordinary …

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Treating Arsenic Poisoning with Saskatchewan-Grown Lentils: A Promising Story of Canadian Innovation

Arsenic poisoning plagues over 100 million people around the world, mostly because of contaminated water. In countries like Bangladesh, where improperly filtered groundwater is used, the drinking water has particularly high levels of arsenic. Arsenic poisoning can manifest in a variety of symptoms from darkened spots on skin and weakened immune systems, to respiratory diseases, …

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Dropping Acid: A Bacterial Tactic to Evade Detection and Boost Plant Growth

Beneficial bacteria lower soil pH by releasing gluconic acid to suppress host plant immune responses Plant roots are constantly interacting with various species of microbes which have varying degrees of impact on plant growth. The rhizosphere, known as the zone immediately surrounding plant roots is mostly home to harmless microbes, but some are pathogenic and …

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One Small Step for Danuvius, One Big Step for Understanding Human Evolution

What makes humans different from our great ape relatives? Many people would say the evolution of larger brains was the key for humans to develop into the creatures we are today. While true, this is not the only important aspect for our development. Bipedalism, or the ability to walk on two feet, is also a …

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