What is a Microbiome

A microbiome is like an entire community of microorganisms living on us and inside¹ (think of the microbiome as the environment of a certain location). Our microbiome is made up of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms (or microbiota) that are meant to regulate the environment of our body.² While we mostly hear about our microbiome in reference to our gut and digestive health, we have a microbiome for other body parts too, like our skin.

Because our microbiome affects lots of different health outcomes, we want to make sure that we have a stable microbiome. It’s difficult to understand…


Vaccines, treatments, cures, and other health technologies must undergo clinical trials. Clinical trials are critical for health innovation and have enabled the creation of antibiotics, cancer treatments, and even the COVID-19 vaccine.

Clinical trials are health research studies conducted on people in a controlled, medical setting to provide knowledge of the efficacy, dosage, response and side effects of a new product. There are many different types of clinical trials, such as:

  • Treatment trials: Test the effectiveness of new drugs or treatments¹
  • Prevention trials: Examine ways to prevent people from developing a disease¹
  • Screening trials: Determine the best way to test…

Morality: the ability to tell right from wrong.¹ Most of us probably strive to be moral people, but how do we define what is right and wrong? I think most of the world has been trying to figure that out since humanity began and mostly still are doing that every day. Most of us expect to live in a world where people do the right thing, where people act morally, but how do we learn this ability?

Like many life skills, morality develops in us very early in our life. In fact, scholars believe that the concept of morality emerges…


What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are health research studies conducted in a medical setting to aid the development of novel medicine, vaccines, and treatments by gathering important physiological data. Without clinical trials, we would not have over-the-counter pills, antibiotics,¹ or even the COVID-19 vaccine! Because clinical trials help us all achieve an improved quality of life, science needs diverse and inclusive participation to advance healthcare. However, only 10% of the global population participates in research, leaving 90% of the world underrepresented.²

The fear associated with research participation runs deep from historically unethical human research. Fortunately, today, there are laws and regulations in place…


An interview with Dr. Karen Blair, Ph. D

Pride month is a truly special time to celebrate inclusivity in all aspects of our lives. And while rainbows are wonderful, pride is much more than a parade.


Where does your mind go when you hear the words: protein powder? Maybe images of extremely muscular individuals doing an intense weightlifting session at the gym. Even though ‘protein bro’ memes are everywhere, protein is really important for us to maintain and grow tissue and muscle, and it’s even used to create hormones in our body.¹

You may already know that even though not all protein powders are regulated, they do have some health benefits. …


What Are Ragweed Allergies?

If you have experienced allergies you know not only how distracting they can be, but also how they can make you feel like the whole world (especially nature!) is plotting against you.

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis is the irritation of your immune system because it mistakes a benign allergen, like pollen from ragweed, to be harmful.¹ Symptoms of hay fever can include a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure.¹

There are many different types of allergens that can cause allergies; one of the most common is ragweed. Ragweed is a seemingly innocent plant with green flowers²…


Prevalence of Knee Pain

Frequent knee pain affects 1 in 4 people in the USA¹ and is reportedly the most common symptom seen in sports medicine and chronic pain clinics across Canada.² Knee pain affects people from all walks of life, especially as we age.³ It decreases our quality of life and can even lead to physical disabilities.

What is Knee Pain?

Knee pain is pain felt around the knees due to mechanical issues and underlying conditions. Some common knee pain symptoms include:

  • Swelling, inflammation and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee³

Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain…


Literacy matters for children from the moment they are born. You might have heard the saying that babies brains are like sponges and this is true!¹ Learning to speak, and then becoming literate by reading, writing, and numeracy, can have serious impacts for people’s entire lives, and this development starts early. Among the scientific community it is commonly believed that there is a critical language period in children, roughly from early infancy to puberty, meaning that children can only acquire language effectively in this stage of life.²

Newer research supports these original claims as a neurology researcher and professor from…


Cover Image Credit: Natikop (DeviantART)

What is Social Deduction

The word ‘deduction’ might bring to mind investigative mysteries and the infamous Sherlock Holmes stories. Deduction is the act of coming to a conclusion based on logical reasoning. Social deduction is best known as a category of board games and video games in which it seems ‘deduction’ sometimes goes out the window. These games are immensely popular, especially since COVID-19 affected the globe, and are based on the idea that there are two groups of players, one good and one bad. …

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