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Scientific news in small doses | The Press



A few milligrams of all the scientific news of the week

Ants against cancer

Ants can recognize the smell of cancer cells, according to French ethologists. Their use for the early detection of cancer could be less expensive than that of the dog, currently envisaged. In Science, in mid-March, Sorbonne researchers showed that ants could recognize ovarian cancer and distinguish between subtypes of breast cancer. They were trained within hours, rewarding them with sugar water when they correctly identified a cancer cell. The mouse is also considered for the olfactory detection of cancer.


What benefit of the sauna has just been brought to light by Quebec researchers?


The sauna protects against Alzheimer’s, according to a study published in early March by researchers from Laval University and the CHU de Québec.

The sauna protects against Alzheimer’s, according to a study published in early March by researchers from Laval University and the CHU de Québec. In the review Neurobiology of Aging, they demonstrate that the increase in body temperature reduces the alteration of tau proteins, associated with this disease, in the brain. They worked on a transgenic mouse and observed the same effect with a menthol lotion which also increased body temperature. A Finnish study showed in 2017 that sauna enthusiasts were less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s. Several studies have observed a protective effect of frequent physical activity, which also increases body temperature.

The number



Quebec teenagers are open to gender diversity.

This is the proportion of Quebec teenagers who declare themselves to be a sexual minority, according to a new study from the University of Montreal. This is a much higher proportion than in other American studies, a phenomenon that the researchers attribute to the fact that the age of consent for participation in studies is lower in Quebec (14 years rather than 18). , and therefore parental obstruction is less. The study, published in early March in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, involves 2,700 participants. About 0.5% of the participants declared themselves to be of a different gender than female and male. The proportion of gender and sexual minorities seems to have increased since the beginning of the pandemic. This study also concludes that the consumption of pornography has not increased with the pandemic, contrary to what was observed in the spring of 2020 during the first confinement.

A moon patrol


Illustration of the Cislunar Patrol System

The United States will launch a space surveillance satellite next year that will cover the region between the Moon and Earth, the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) announced in early March. The company that will build the satellite(s) needed for the Cislunar Patrol System will be chosen by July. This system will be able to monitor space up to 450,000 km from Earth.

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