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UTSC in the news

Phil Triadafilopoulos gets a word in about the Rob Ford scandal; Jeffrey Dvorkin debates the ethics of paying for information; Kenneth Welch talks with National Geographic about bats and hummingbirds; Marc Cadotte shows Darwin was right.

Since news broke about an alleged video appearing to show Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine the mayor’s office has been rocked by controversy. What followed was a series of events almost as bizarre as the allegation itself. As new allegations and events continue to pour out of the mayor’s office the story has given our experts plenty to talk about.

Phil Triadafilopoulos weighed in on the issue for this Reuters article, saying the scandal has cost the mayor support from previous allies on council.

Jeffrey Dvorkin also recently joined a panel debate on the popular CBC show Q with Jian Ghomeshi to discuss the ethics of media paying for information.

It’s been long-known that a bat’s super-long tongue is used to lap up nectar from plants. But according to a new study using high-speed video, the bat’s extraordinary tongue-mopping ability is powered by blood. UTSC professor Ken Welch, who studies vertebrate physiology, said the discovery reminds him of a recent hummingbird study that found their tongues may function as fluid traps to capture nectar in the curled ends of the tongue. He talked about the results in this National Geographic feature.

In the Origin of Species, first published in 1859, Charles Darwin predicted that a plot of land growing distantly related grasses would be more productive than a plot with a single species of grass. Since Darwin made that first prediction many experiments have demonstrated that multi-species plots are in fact more productive. New research by UTSC professor Marc Cadotte shows that species with the greatest evolutionary distance from one another have the greatest gains in productivity. This research, along with its potential as a valuable tool for conservation efforts, reveals that Darwin was correct in the prediction he made more than 150 years ago.

 

 




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