Science X Dialog

Dialog / I studied what happens to reef fish after coral bleaching. What I saw still makes me nauseous

The Great Barrier Reef is suffering its third mass bleaching event in five years. It follows the record-breaking mass bleaching event in 2016 that killed a third of Great Barrier Reef corals, immediately followed by another ...

Mar 27, 2020 in Earth
Dialog / Coronavirus: A new type of vaccine using RNA could help defeat COVID-19

A century ago, on July 26, 1916, a viral disease swept through New York. Within 24 hours, new cases of polio increased by more than 68%. The outbreak killed more than 2,000 people in New York City alone. Across the United ...

Mar 27, 2020 in Medicine & Health
Dialog / How our team isolated the new coronavirus to fight the global pandemic

As most people rush to distance themselves from COVID-19, Canadian researchers have been waiting eagerly to get our (gloved) hands on the hated virus.

Mar 26, 2020 in Medicine & Health
Dialog / Alchemite: A deep-learning tool to optimize industrial lubricants

Lubricants are an essential component in industry and are widely used. They can protect surfaces from wear, reduce friction, transfer heat, and ensure the smooth functioning of mechanical devices.

Mar 04, 2020 in Chemistry
Dialog / Evolution: That famous 'march of progress' image is just wrong

Evolution explains how all living beings, including us, came to be. It would be easy to assume evolution works by continuously adding features to organisms, constantly increasing their complexity. Some fish evolved legs and ...

Mar 03, 2020 in Biology
Dialog / From crocodiles to krill, a warming world raises the 'costs' paid by developing embryos

Apart from mammals and birds, most animals develop as eggs exposed to the vagaries of the outside world. This development is energetically "costly." Going from a tiny egg to a fully functioning organism can deplete up to ...

Mar 03, 2020 in Biology
Dialog / The natural direction of heat flows—from hot to cold—can be reversed thanks to quantum effects

In a hot summer Sunday braai or shisa nyama (South African barbecue), if you don't finish your favorite beverage quickly, the ice cubes will melt and the drink will get warm—undoubtedly spoiling your braai/shisa nyama. ...

Mar 02, 2020 in Physics
Dialog / The problem with healthcare price transparency: We don't have cost transparency

US$2.4 million. $1.5 million. $2.28 million. These are the amounts of money the health system where I work, teach and receive health care spent purchasing a PET scanner, a CT scanner and a three-month supply of pembrolizumab, ...

Mar 02, 2020 in Medicine & Health
Dialog / Iberian-Appalachian connection unveils a new and deep view of the interior of Pangea as it was amalgamated

Recently, my team reported unprecedented evidence of a continental connection between the ancient landmasses Laurentia (North America) and Iberia (the northern margin of Gondwana) in the Late Pennsylvanian period (307-299 ...

Feb 19, 2020 in Earth
Dialog / Meet the insects that are defying the plunge in biodiversity

In 2019, there were 44 million fewer breeding birds in the UK than there were in the 1970s. There are thought to be fewer than one million hedgehogs, compared to 35 million in the 1950s. Two-thirds of British butterflies ...

Feb 18, 2020 in Biology
Dialog / What I've learnt about drug testing in Nigeria over the last 20 years

Poor quality medicine is one of the obstacles to improving health in developing countries. One in 10 medicines may not meet acceptable standards, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Feb 17, 2020 in Medicine & Health
Dialog / Designing artificial brains can help us learn more about real ones

Despite billions of dollars spent and decades of research, computation in the human brain remains largely a mystery. Meanwhile, we have made great strides in the development of artificial neural networks, which are designed ...

Feb 14, 2020 in Medicine & Health