By: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate


Super seniors are not couch potatoes

The longest living elderly in Canada generally have parents who live longer than average, but according to Angela Brooks-Wilson, a SFU biomedical physiology and kinesiology professor and distinguished scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, lifestyle plays a bigger role.

      The 16-year study was conducted with healthy seniors ranging from age 85 to 109 years old, and it examined what super seniors did to have long, healthy lives.

      Super seniors tend to be physically and socially active, participating in the community or in sports. Brooks-Wilson even stated that it was hard to have interviews with the super seniors due to how busy they were. “They are very socially active and lot of them exercise — about 50%.”

      “Super seniors are definitely not couch potatoes.”

      The super seniors also generally did not smoke, had moderate drinking habits, and had above-average body mass indexes.

      The researchers also conducted genetic testing on the super seniors and found that, though some of them had the APOe4 gene that was associated with Alzheimer’s, many of them did not have the disease.

      The bottom line? No one can control their genes, but you can control your lifestyle.


With files from Vancouver Sun.


Is North American wildlife conservation based on science?

      A study led by a SFU-educated scientist Kyle Artelle, a biologist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria, and SFU researchers John Reynolds and Jessica Walsh examined to what extent wildlife conservation efforts are based on science.

      The study looked at documents describing hunt management systems affecting 27 species in 62 American and Canadian regions. Using the four hallmarks of scientific wildlife management — clear objectives, use of evidence, transparency, and external review — the researchers found that 60% of the hunt management systems satisfied less than half of the hallmark indicator criteria. For example, fewer than 6% of the management systems had an external review process. Many basic assumptions of scientific management were also missing.

      “The key to honest discussions about wildlife management and conservation is clarity about where the science begins and ends,” said Artelle. He believes that the approach used by his team provides a “straightforward litmus test for science-based claims.”

      The findings in the study, published in the journal Science Advances, suggest that there is doubt that North American wildlife management can be accurately thought of as science-based.

      Many North American wildlife management agencies claim their approach and policies are based on science.