Check out the first video of our holiday series, Raw Eggs in Eggnog: Should we be worried?
The year was 1982. "Food for Thought", a new and innovative course conceived by Drs. David Harpp, Joe Schwarcz & Ariel Fenster. Designed to provoke some thought, separate fact from fiction and of course, digest everything there is to know about food. And now, 14,000 students later, you too can take this course. FOR FREE. That's right. McGill presents its very-first MOOC (massive open online course), & the McGill Office for Science and Society (OSS) is up at bat. Are you ready for some Food for Thought? Click here to register.
Latest OSS Blog Articles:
Setting the facts straight about iron in spinach
Mea culpa. I plead guilty to the crime I often accuse others of committing, namely not checking facts properly! Curiously, I would not have discovered my error had I not been doing some proper fact checking about claims that a nutritional supplement derived from the root of the maca plant can increase libido and alleviate menopausal problems. Read More.
How close to the wind can a conventional sailboat sail? Is there a theoretical limit to the angle to the TRUE wind that a boat can achieve (including lateral drift)? I was taught (many years ago) that the limit is 45%. Is this considered correct today?
Good question. I don't think there's a fundamental limit that is the result of some physical law. I think the 45 degree rule is about **efficiency** - if you sail any closer than this, then you're not taking maximum advantage of the wind. Read More.
This rub can rub you the wrong way
In 2007, seventeen-year-old cross-country runner Arielle Newman was found dead in her home. Autopsy results were inconclusive. After a two-month investigation, the medical examiner concluded that Arielle Newman’s death was caused by methyl salicylate, the key ingredient in sports creams like Bengay and IcyHot. How can a muscle-soothing cream lead to such a tragedy? Read More.
Is Zenbev an effective sleep aid?
A lot of people have asked about Zenbev, the “organic sleeping aid” available in health food stores. This combination of pumpkin seed extract and dextrose with some rice starch and guar gum was developed by psychiatrist Craig Hudson based on the assumption that the tryptophan-rich protein in the seed releases tryptophan upon digestion, and that insulin secretion in response to the dextrose component leads to other amino acids being absorbed into muscle cells leaving trytophan free to cross the blood brain barrier. Read More.
Did You Know?
Cranberries are commonly associated with Thanksgiving but in early America they played a varied role. Besides the berries serving as food, the plant’s leaves were commonly used for tea or as a tobacco substitute. Native Americans also combined cranberries with dried meat to prepare a special “energy bar” called pemmican that could be stored well and during wintertime provided a good source of fat and protein. Cranberries also had medicinal applications. Natives relied on cranberries as laxatives and “blood purifiers.” They were also used to treat child-birth related injuries as well as to reduce fevers and stomach cramps although there is no evidence that any of these actually worked.
For more interesting facts, please make sure to check out our "Did You Know?" section.
Most Recent Science Links:
Does Peanut Consumption Lead To Decreased Mortality, Or Is This A Lot Of Wishful Thinking?
According to the lead article in the current New England Journal of Medicine, in two large cohorts, greater nut consumption was associated with a lower total mortality and a lower mortality from specific causes. Read More.
Take Aspirin at Bedtime to Better Protect Your Heart, Study Suggests
A daily dose of aspirin has become a common treatment for people at high risk for heart attacks or strokes, because it thins the blood and prevents clots from forming. But does it matter when during the day you take the drug? Read More.
No Good Data For or Against Taking Vitamins, Experts Say
Even though millions of Americans pop a vitamin, mineral or multivitamin supplement every day, an influential government-appointed panel of experts says the jury is still out on whether they help boost health or not. Read More.
Role of fungal mould in Parkinson's investigated
“Can damp, mouldy rooms increase risk of Parkinson's? Study shows fungi can affect how brain chemicals function,” the Mail Online reports. But before you start frantically cleaning your home, the study in question involved flies, not humans. Read More.