Smartphones make great citizen research tools. We take them everywhere and they have the functions (GPS, accelerometers, camera, audio, video) to sense, share and mobilize data between consenting citizens. (Shutterstock)

Your smartphone can encourage active living

A man walks in a back alley in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, February 2019. More people fatally overdosed in British Columbia last year compared with 2017 despite efforts to combat the province’s public health emergency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The opioid crisis is not about pain

Syrian refugee family Mohammad Al Mnajer and wife Fouzia Al Hashish sit with their three daughters Judy, second left, Jaidaa, far right, and Baylasan as they eat their after school snack at their home in Mississauga, Ont., in December 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Immigrant children’s health declines in Canada

It is hard for doctors to change their clinical practise in the light of new medical evidence. Shame, loss of professional self-worth and fear of malpractice lawsuits are some of the reasons. (Shutterstock)

The new truth about Aspirin

Evidence now shows that for the majority of healthy people, the risks of bleeding with a daily Aspirin outweigh any heart benefits. How long will it take for your doctor to tell you?
Scientific evidence is clear: Vaccination is good for people and society. Online discussions are increasingly reflecting that reality. gorillaimages/Shutterstock.com

Anti-vaxxers appear to be losing ground online

Social media activity suggests that pro-vaccine evidence may be starting to outweigh anti-vaxxer disinformation.
Most Canadians support the idea of mandatory vaccination. But unintended consequences could worsen the under-vaccination problem. (Shutterstock)

Is mandatory vaccination good policy?

Because of the potential drawbacks of forcing people to vaccinate their children, we should take other measures to increase vaccination rates.
Glaucoma is an insidious disease that is sometimes confused with inattention or vision deteriorating with age, yet it can kill your eyesight and leave you blind. Shutterstock

Glaucoma: Vision’s silent killer

Glaucoma is a serious disease which, if left untreated, can cause blindness. A professor of optometry explains the risks, process of diagnosis and available treatments.
Bubble-wrapping children doesn’t work. They need to experience mild adversity, to know how to overcome it when they inevitably face it in life. (Shutterstock)

Why failure is good for your kids’ health

Paying to get your kids into prestigious universities is an example of a 'bulldozer parenting' trend, which reduces exposure to failure and can lead to mental health difficulties.
Considerable parental favouritism is associated with lower mental and physical well-being for all children in the family. (Shutterstock)

International Sibling Day

What happens when parents play favourites?

Two child development experts share the latest research on sibling favouritism and offer practical tips for parents on how to avoid it.
Our societies would be kinder and better places overall if we considered what we can and do learn from autism. (Shutterstock)

World Autism Day

Let’s allow disability to change our societies

A medical model tends to see disability as an individual impairment, but disability — including autism — is part of all of our precarious, precious lives.
It turns out that sexuality research has little interest in … sex … or the pleasure associated with sex. Shutterstock

Is #MeToo casting a shadow on pleasure?

How do you express, feel, communicate, and embody your sexual desires and pleasures in the prevailing social climate?
Research published in Science Translational Medicine in February 2019 used a virtual patient to test the drug, Fevipiprant. (Shutterstock)

New drug to lower risks of asthma attack

Asthma affects around 339 million people worldwide. A new drug promises to lower risks of asthma attack and may eventually allow patients to reduce their dependence on steroids.
Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau announced funding for a new Canadian Drug Agency in the 2019 Federal Budget. Here he speaks at a press conference in Toronto, March 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Federal Budget

An agency and rare disease funding not enough

A new agency and money for drugs for rare diseases are only very partial steps on the road towards what Canada really needs: a national pharmacare plan.
Governments worry that medical cannabis tax exemptions could tempt recreational users. Some might seek prescriptions to save money. Eliminating taxes on medical purchases of only cannabis oil could work as a compromise. (Shutterstock)

Most Canadians still use black market pot

With cannabis, governments must balance taxing legal sales versus competing with illegal ones.
A girl takes her tuberculosis medication under the supervision of a health worker in Himachal Pradesh, India. (WHO/M.Grzemska)

A human-rights approach is essential to end the global TB epidemic

Tuberculosis kills more people globally than any other infectious disease. A human-rights approach and investment in quality care are essential to ending the global epidemic.
A new review of 372 patient group submissions to the Canadian Agency for Drugs or Technology in Health – about whether new medicines should be covered by public plans – reveals a total of 1896 conflicts of interest. (Shutterstock)

Big Pharma donations and public drug coverage

A new study reveals how many patient groups lobby for new drugs to be funded by public plans in Canada -- all while receiving funding from the companies manufacturing the drugs in question.
Experts have called for a moratorium on clinical research with CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing. of the germline — that is changing heritable DNA in sperm, eggs or embryos to make genetically modified children. (Shutterstock)

CRISPR gene editing: We need Slow Science

CRISPR gene editing should learn from the Slow Food movement. Scientists must allow time for critical conversations and perfecting of techniques before rewriting the source code of humanity.
The evidence shows that vaping is creating a generation of nicotine-addicted youth, who start with e-cigarettes and move on to smoke tobacco products. (Unsplash/Andrew Haimerl)

Vaping is an urgent threat to public health

Vaping devices were designed as a clean way of delivering nicotine, to help people stop smoking tobacco. Now, with gummy bear flavours and celebrity endorsements, they are a serious public health problem.
Recent studies suggest that tourists believe that beach access points and resorts are located adjacent to safe swimming areas, but that isn’t always true. (Shutterstock)

Why your Spring Break brain may drown you

Just because a beach is accessible, has restaurants, lounge chairs and vendors, and is near a resort, does not make it safe.

How we are different

10 reasons

Most Read past week

  1. Ban leggings on campus? Ludicrous – wearing leggings allows women to move like superheroes
  2. The opioid crisis is not about pain
  3. Heavy periods? You might have an undiagnosed bleeding disorder
  4. How your smartphone can encourage active living
  5. ‘Microdosers’ of LSD and magic mushrooms are wiser and more creative

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