September 12, 2014
September 2014 Issue (101 Week Special Edition)

May 9, 2014
March 2014 Issue: Winter Writing Contest Edition!

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February 4, 2014
Got the winter blues?

Rebecca Xu, 2nd Year BIM

We all know that heat fuels human hostility and frustration, but what can be said about the other extreme? While the cold effect has not been studied as in depth, it is suggested that the cold can fuel conflict in some situations and quench it in others.

In the mid-1970s, a series of laboratory experiments suggested that uncomfortable cold could push people’s buttons. Currently, there is debate as to whether or not this effect decreases at extreme temperatures, but it appears that the effect of cold and the effect of heat have similar consequences in altering people’s moods. In 2011, a group of Swiss researchers analyzed the Central European summer climate patterns over a span of 2500 years by looking at tree-ring data, and observed that periods of prolonged warming and cooling coincided with major social unrest. They found that cold periods overlapped with social upheaval events such as the Celtic expansion (around 350 BC) and the modern migrations to the Americas from Europe (around 1800 AD).

In terms of triggering crime, it appears that extreme heat is more of a culprit than the cold.  In fact, the cold has the potential to curb crime. This could be linked to the fact that it is easier for the body to return to a comfortable temperature when it is cold rather than when it is hot. When the temperature dips, people also tend to remain indoors rather than venture outdoors which, statistically speaking, decreases the chance of a person confronting potential conflict. Conversely, multiple studies have suggested a potential link between violent crime rates and hot weather. However, there is a spectrum of arguments with regards to whether or not aggression is correlated with high temperatures. Both interpretations have, and are, strongly voiced to this day.




Anderson, A. 30 Dec 2013. How Wintry Weather Affects Emotions [online].  Scientific American.  Available from (31 Dec 2013).

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January 22, 2014
January/Feburary 2014 Issue

January 14, 2014

November 20, 2013
November 2013 Issue

November 20, 2013
November 2013 Works Cited

The Global Helium Crisis: A Brief Explanation, p. 3

Cho, Adrian. “U.S. House Passes Bill That Would Head Off Massive Helium Shortage.”

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Plumer, Brad. “Good News! Congress Just Averted a Global Helium Crisis.” The

Washington Post, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2013

Meet Your New Neighbours, p. 4

Bateman, P.W., and P.A. Fleming. “Big city life: carnivores in urban environments.” Journal of Zoology. 287.1 (2012): 1-23. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. < 7998.2011.00887.x/asset/jzo887.pdf?v=1&t=hmve8mau&s=547db72133e9cae99 4c7804e6f1d6696e4444b14>.

Gehrt, Stanley D., Chris Anchor, et al. “Home Range and Landscape Use of Coyotes in a Metropolitan Landscape: Conflict or Coexistence?.” Journal of Mammalogy. 90.5 (2009): 1045-1057. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. <>.

Greenspan, Jesse. “Wild Animals of All Stripes Are Adapting to the Cityscape and Thriving.” Scientific American. 22 Sept 2013: n. page. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. < are-adapting-to-the-cityscape-and-thriving>.

You Have the Right to Remain Salty, p. 5

Appel et al. “The Importance of Population-Wide Sodium Reduction as a Means to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.” Circulation, 23 (2011):1138-1143. Print.

Bath et al. “Effect of inadequate iodine status in UK pregnant women on cognitive outcomes in their children.” Lancet, 382.9889 (2013):331-317. Print.

Bibbins-Domingo et al. “Projected effect of dietary salt reductions on future cardiovascular disease.” N. Engl. J. Med., 362.7 (2010):590-599. Print.

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He and MacGregor. “Reducing population salt intake worldwide: from evidence to implementation.” Prog. Cardiovasc. Dis., 52.5 (2012): 363-382. Print.

“Micronutrient deficiencies.” The World Health Organization. N.p., n.d. Web. Oct 2013. <>

Stolarz-Skrzypek et al. “Fatal and Nonfatal Outcomes, Incidence of Hypertension, and Blood Pressure Changes in Relation to Urinary Sodium Excretion.” J. Am. Med. Assoc., 305.17 (2011): 1777-1785. Print.

Exercising Your Cognitive Function, p 8

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Exercise Works Magic: Scientific American.” Researchers Explain Why Exercise Works Magic: Scientific American. Scientific American, Aug. 2013. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.

Christiane D. Wrann, James P. White, John Salogiannnis, Dina Laznik-Bogoslavski, Jun

Wu, Di Ma, Jiandie D. Lin, Michael E. Greenberg, Bruce M. Spiegelman. Exercise Induces Hippocampal BDNF through a PGC-1α/FNDC5 Pathway. Cell Metabolism, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2013.09.008

"Scientists Identify Protein Linking Exercise to Brain Health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily,

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Lake Vostok: The cold reality of life, p 12

Bell, Robin E., and David M. Karl. United States. U.S. National Science Foundation

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Arabidopsis: The Winter-Ready Plant, p 13

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Canadian Scientists Being Silenced, p 14

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November 13, 2013
Coming Soon.

Coming Soon.

September 14, 2013
The Catalyst: September 2013 Issue

September 13, 2013
The Scientific Pursuit of Happiness

The Scientific Pursuit of Happiness
Julia Bayne, 4th Year CHM

Do you want to change the world? Of course you do - who wouldn’t want to be hailed amongst the ranks of Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, and Marie Curie? Unfortunately, Bill Gates was right when he stated that ‘life is not fair’, effectively crushing every 13-year-old’s dream with four words. And so, although we may not be able to change the world with simple mathematics or the earth-shattering discovery of sliced bread, there are still infinitely many ways we can make our own impact. In my case, I have decided to follow the footsteps of a young Marie Curie in becoming a scientist.

Now, “becoming a scientist” is never really as simple as it sounds, even when you surround it with comforting quotation marks. The path to scientific glory is often filled with twists and bends, catapulting uphill one moment and tumbling down the next. Regardless of where you end up, rest assured that we have all taken the same first step – a calculated plunge into the depths of science academia. Whether you study sciences, arts, music, business, or even the history of dodge ball, your path will lead you into the future and guide you towards self-fulfillment. When I began my journey as a science student, my family suggested a future in research – a notion which I shut down before it had even finished leaving their lips. Why would I ever want to condemn myself to the horrors of scientific research? I awoke that night from a nightmare in which I was dressed as a clown and forced to mix two solutions together for a wacky Heisenberg character. I told myself that I would never let that happen. Now, four years later, I realize that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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