York U scientists travel to Brazil

Scientists from York University are travelling to São Paulo to meet with Brazilian researchers on Feb. 1 and 2, reported the North York Mirror Feb. 1. The international collaboration is expected to lead to advances in controlling many diseases such as West Nile virus and drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis. Read full story.

Black History Month – 28 days of inspiration
“Many people look forward to this month, during which a marginalized people’s history is given prominence in the mainstream. There is a newfound appetite for anything about black history during these magical 28 days. Others question its relevance and consequences. As [actor Morgan] Freeman points out, is black history not part of American or world history? Why should it be condensed and highlighted only during this month?” wrote Faisal Kutty, instructor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in the Post-Tribune Feb. 1. Read full story.

Flood of private capital helps fill financing void
Last September, Kitchener, Ont.-based e-learning provider Desire2Learn secured $80-million in venture capital….The move highlights the growing willingness of private equity markets to inject cash into emerging companies, and offers companies considerable growth opportunities while staying private….“You used to need a valuation of about $100-million dollars,” said Douglas Cumming, finance professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, in The Globe and Mail Feb. 1. “Today, you are looking for a valuation in the neighbourhood of around $1-billion.” A flood of private money is serendipitously filling the void, offering alternatives for firms that otherwise would have seen public financing as the only viable option. Read full story.

From politics to pay packets, women moving in to lead
Soosan D. Latham, professor at York University’s School of Human Resource Management, agrees that society has become more accepting of women in leadership roles. But she thinks we’re far from a watershed moment. “Our institutions, from government to organizations in private business, are fundamentally male-oriented [and] dominated. The few women – and there are few even as we boast six premiers – who succeed do so primarily by continuing to play the male value game,” Dr. Latham said in The Globe and Mail Feb. 1. Read full story.

System keeping renters on the outside
Stephen Gaetz, a homelessness researcher at York University, said when Canada’s housing crisis exploded, homelessness became a visible problem. Unsure of how to react, emergency services, such as shelters, were heavily invested in by governments. “The first response is to build an emergency sector. Canada has been kind of stuck in that emergency-response phase, where we’ve invested heavily in shelters and day programs and food banks,” he said in the Leader-Post Feb. 2, adding governments have bloated the emergency sector and not invested enough in the two other staples of solving homelessness: prevention and rapid rehousing. Read full story.

Labour groups want action on climate change, but are they willing to forego fossil-fuelled jobs?
Can workers and their unions lead the struggle to slow global warming? That was the question pondered by environmental and labour advocates at a panel held last week at York University with the title “Green Work, Brown World”, reported Rabble.ca Feb. 1. The panel, presented by the Work in a Warming World Research Programme, came on the heels of a conference about labour and the climate crisis held in New York earlier this month. Read full story.

At National Zoo, even orangutans have latest high-tech gadgets
Orangutans and humans share many similarities when experiencing technology, said York psychology Professor Suzanne MacDonald in the Merced Sun-Star Feb. 1. Orangutans see images the same way humans do, she said, though the apes may interpret them differently. Read full story.