Scientific news in small doses

A few milligrams of all the scientific news of the week

Posted on June 26th

Mathieu Perréault

Mathieu Perréault
The press

opioids questioned

Opioids prescribed to take home after surgery do more harm than good, according to a new Montreal study. From a meta-analysis of 47 studies, physiologists from McGill University found that topical opioid prescription was not associated with less pain, but rather with more side effects such as nausea. The operations studied were minor, particularly dental, and moderate, particularly orthopedic. Prescribing opioids to convalescents in the United States is also associated with the risk of long-term addiction.

quiz

What have Israeli researchers found out about the smell?


WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The smellPaintings by the Dutch painter of the XVIIe Century Jan Miense Molenaer

Answer: Smell influences who we choose as friends. According to Weizmann Institute psychologists, friendships often develop between people who smell alike. in the scientific advances In mid-June, these researchers describe how they tested this hypothesis using “electronic noses” sensitive to ten different smells. First, with 20 pairs of (non-romantic) friends reporting that their bonds grew rapidly after a first encounter; then with 24 people asked to smell samples of human odors from their friends and strangers—their friends’ odors were scored as similar. The Israeli researchers argue that this result shows the importance of smells in social relationships and the importance of shared habits and living places that often produce certain smells.

The number

80%


PHOTO WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

northern elephant seal

It is the proportion of the northern elephant seal’s prey that is caught by their whiskers rather than their eyesight. These results, obtained by Californian biologists, come from the observation of five elephant seals that were filmed for almost ten hours. Videos have shown that only 20% of their prey is bioluminescent, or at a depth where light is still present. The whiskers of elephant seals detect water displacement associated with the movements of their prey, explain in PNAS In mid-June, researchers at the University of California in Santa Cruz.

A Chinese moon map


NSSC/CAS IMAGE

Chinese moon map

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has just unveiled the most detailed topographical map of the moon. It includes 12,341 craters, 81 basins, 17 rock types, and 14 other groups of structures, such as volcanoes, valleys, ridges, and depressions called rilles. The card was presented in mid-June science bulletin and is based on data from Chinese orbiters.

Rather more vegetable than less animal protein


PHOTO SUPPLIED BY LAVAL UNIVERSITY

Non animal proteins

Quebecers who eat less meat also eat more sweets, according to a new study from Laval University. The study, which was presented by a nutrition student at the American Nutrition Society (ASN) annual conference, involved 1,147 adults. On the other hand, when classified according to their consumption of plant-based protein, people who ate more of it actually ate better. The presentation earned its author, Gabrielle Rochefort, an ASN award.

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