Scientific news in small doses

A few milligrams of all the scientific news of the week

Posted at 9:00 am

Eric-Pierre Champagne

Eric-Pierre Champagne
The press

The ostrich neck could lengthen

The ostriches, recognizable by their long necks, could see how this part of their anatomy lengthened due to … global warming. This is one of the findings of a team of Swedish researchers at Lund University who became interested in the world’s largest bird. His work revealed that the ostrich neck serves especially as a thermal regulator. Evacuates excess heat when temperatures are warmer or retains heat when cooled. Due to climate change, ostrich necks are likely to lengthen, say scientists, whose study was published on the bioRxiv dissemination platform.

Quiz

How many people have a headache every day?


PHOTO GETTY IMAGES

Women (57.8%) are more affected than men (44.4%) by headaches.

According to a meta-analysis by Norwegian researchers, 15.8% of the world’s population suffers from headaches every day. The scientists analyzed 350 scientific studies on the subject and concluded that 52% of the world’s population suffered from headaches last year. The data also revealed that women (57.8%) were more affected than men (44.4%). Women are also more affected by migraines than men (17% versus 8.6%). The study was published in The diary of headache and pain. Now, if you want to know exactly how many people suffer from headaches, we’ll let you do the math … just thinking about it, we have headaches!

1895.5


PHOTO MIKE BLAKE, REUTERS

The concentration of methane in the atmosphere has increased by 162% since the beginning of the industrial era.

In 2021, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere amounted to 1895.5 parts per billion (to go per billion or ppb in English). A different calculation method from CO2, measured in ppm or parts per million. For methane, this is the highest value since 1983, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began its official records. Although it is present in less quantity in the atmosphere than CO2, methane has a much higher heating potential. Its concentration in the atmosphere has increased by 162% since the beginning of the industrial era.

Chronic pain more common in black people


PHOTO JIM VONDRUSKA, REUTERS ARCHIVES

Blood samples have revealed the presence of small molecules called methyl in the DNA of blacks participating in a study.

Blacks are more likely to suffer from chronic pain than whites. This is the finding of a team of scientists at the University of Alabama whose research was published in the journal Pain neurobiology. The researchers were able to analyze blood samples that revealed the presence of small molecules called methyl in the DNA of the blacks involved in the study. They suffered from chronic pain, unlike the other participants. These molecules appear mainly due to aging and chronic stress. Researchers believe that various negative experiences related to racism could be the cause of this methylation and that it could also be reversible.

Heat and wetlands


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, PRESS ARCHIVE

More than 70% of Canada’s wetlands have been destroyed over the past century.

A joint study by Ducks Unlimited and the University of Saskatchewan found that Canadian prairie wetlands cool the temperature by 1 to 3. ohC during the hottest days of summer. These must remain intact and retain their ecological functions in order to act in this way on the climate. These environments, unfortunately, are becoming increasingly rare. More than 70% of Canada’s wetlands have been destroyed over the past century.

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