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The Waste-to-Energy plant “Amager Bakke” in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo credit Niels Quist/Alamy stock photos. Most people do not enjoy talking, or reading, about garbage. For one thing, it’s boring. But it’s also disturbing: garbage imposes great costs on our economy and our society. The biggest problem is simply the amount of garbage we produce. For… Continue Reading

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Charles Best and Frederick Banting, with one of their research subjects. University of Toronto Archives This post describes some of the many pathways to scientific discovery. No single model applies to all discoveries, and most discoveries contain elements of different models. I will focus on the field I know best, biomedical research. Biomedical discoveries are… Continue Reading

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Blue-green algae on western Lake Erie on September 26, 2017. The border between the United States and Canada runs down the centre of the lake. Landsat 8 image. Source: http://spaceref.com/onorbit/orbital-view-of-algal-blooms-in-lake-erie.html The natural  history of Lake Okeechobee, at 730 square miles the largest lake in Florida, is intimately entwined with that of the surrounding Everglades. Before the… Continue Reading

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Samuel Hahnemann, father of homeopathic medicine. A paper published in the June 30, 1988 issue of the high-profile scientific journal Nature shocked the biomedical research world. Its anodyne title, “Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum Against IgE”, probably didn’t cause any non-scientists to choke on their breakfast cereal. But in the eyes of… Continue Reading