Beyond McGill news
With February being Heart Month and St. Valentine’s Day celebrated on February 14, we suggest the following experts on timely topics ranging from heart health to the chemistry of love:
Ten years after nature unleashed its savagery on Quebec's hardwood forest, experts have discovered heartening news: The forest is doing just fine. "The incredible resilience of the forest gives me hope," says Martin Lechowicz, a professor of biology at McGill and director of the university's Gault Nature Reserve at Mont St. Hilaire. At 1,000 hectares, it is the largest forest in southern Quebec never to have been harvested.
Neuroscientists have found that a cardboard cutout of the ubiquitous Hilton Hotel heiress has a painkilling effect on mice. Jeffrey Mogil of McGill and his colleagues noticed that male mice showed signs of less pain when a scientist was present, so, to investigate whether it was the sight or smell of a human that caused the effect, the researchers acquired a promotional cardboard cutout of Hilton. Paris's effect appeared to be gender-specific. Male mice spent less time licking their wounds when fake Paris was in sight, but females showed no such effect. When the team put up a screen to block the rodents' view, the effect went away. The researchers reported at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
Researchers at McGill say they have achieved a Canadian first by successfully producing three litters of cloned pigs, an event that may help advance research into human ailments such as diabetes. "It gives us the opportunity to create animals from cell lines that can be easily manipulated in vitro," said Dr. Vilceu Bordignon, director of the Large Animal Research Unit at McGill's Macdonald campus. "It could even lead to the development of new cell therapies for genetic diseases in humans."