Briefs of the week

Scientific discoveries, police promises and new banknote

Week of Nov. 12, 2018

Tree of Life

Biologists at Dalhousie University have discovered a new branch on the “Tree of Life” (a model used to explore evolution and the relationships between living things).

According to a press release, the team of biologists used a technique called single-cell transcriptomics to study the gene expression of two rare microscopic species. The species belong to a group of organisms called hemimastigotes.

PhD candidate Yana Eglit found the hemimastigotes in a soil sample taken while hiking.

“Hemimastigotes share an ancient common ancestor with humans, other animals, fungi and plants,” said the release. Prior to this study, there was no genetic information available on hemimastigotes.

The Dal scientists’ findings were published in Nature on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

 

Nova Scotia police to educate on drink tampering

Nova Scotia police are asking victims of drink tampering to come forward, as they hope to prioritize the issue.

Earlier in the fall, members of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association agreed to engage in community education and prevention, reported the Canadian Press.

The decision comes after multiple reported cases of spiked drinks in Halifax bars. Soon after, Halifax police were criticized for not tracking statistics on such incidents.

 

New $10 bill goes into circulation

The Canadian $10 bill featuring the image of Nova Scotian civil rights activist Viola Desmond officially enters circulation this week. The vertically-oriented bill, which depicts Desmond on one side, is being launched at The Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Monday, Nov. 19. The museum is depicted on the other side of the bill.

Desmond stood up to Nova Scotia’s segregation laws when she sat in the “whites only” section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow in 1949. According to a press release from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Desmond is the first Canadian-born woman on a regularly circulating Bank of Canada note.

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Rebecca Dingwell

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