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Archive - Apr 12, 2017

Polar Bears Travel Cross-Wind to Pick Up Scent of Prey

Researchers at the University of Alberta have demystified the way that polar bears search for their typical prey of ringed seals. The answer, it turns out, is simple: they follow their nose using the power of wind. Using satellite telemetry data collected from 123 adult polar bears in Canada's Hudson Bay over 11 years, the researchers merged the movements of polar bears with wind patterns to explore how they looked for seals. They hypothesized that when a bear smells prey, it moves up-wind to find it. But what is a bear to do before it smells anything at all? "Predators search for prey using odors in the air, and their success depends on how they move relative to the wind," explained Ron Togunov, Ph.D., University of Alberta alumnus and lead author on the study. "Travelling crosswind gives the bears a steady supply of new air streams and maximizes the area they can sense through smell." While this phenomenon had been suspected in many animals, it had not been quantified in mammals until now. The best conditions for olfactory hunting, explained U Alberta professor Andrew Derocher, Ph.D., co-author and renowned polar bear expert, takes place at night during the winter. "Crosswind search was most frequent when winds were slow, when it is easier to localize the source of a certain smell, and at night when bears are relatively active and when vision is less effective, so bears rely more heavily on their sense of smell." The findings also raise questions about the implications of climate change. "Wind speeds in the Arctic are projected to increase, potentially making olfaction more difficult," explained Dr. Togunov.

Annual ISEV Meeting on Extracellular Vesicles (Including Exosomes) in Toronto May 17-21

The annual meeting of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV 2017) (https://isev.site-ym.com/), will take place from May 17-21 in Toronto, Canada, and will offer an unparalleled opportunity to network with, and learn from, the preeminent leaders in extracellular vesicle (EV) research. To register for this meeting, please click here (https://isev.site-ym.com/page/ISEV2017Registration). The scope and quality of the anticipated scientific exchange make ISEV 2017 the largest and the premier meeting in EV research in the world. This event features five days of the best in vesicle science covering all aspects of basic, clinical, and translational research. The research theme includes diverse areas of science encompassing rare and neglected diseases, infectious disease, coagulation, cancer, neuroscience, cardiovascular studies, immunology, regenerative medicine, virology, parasitology, and more. The overall theme of ISEV 2017 is “Diversity of EV Composition and Function in Disease Diagnosis and Therapeutics.” Amidst growing interest in the promise of EVs in disease detection and treatment, ISEV 2017 will bring scientists and clinicians in medical and biotechnology communities together to translate their research. No other meeting in the world offers the scope, participation level, and thematic focus of ISEV 2017 concentrating and cross-pollinating scientific investigations in the field of disease biomarkers and therapeutic tools by disseminating cutting-edge developments in EV research. Among the plenary speakers scheduled to address the meeting are Clotilde Thery, Ph.D. (Research Director, Institut Curie), Philip Stahl, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine), Thomas Thum M.D., Ph.D. (Professor of Cardiology, Imperial College-London), Jeff Wrana, Ph.D.