From the tender age of five, all Hans Larsson ever wanted to be was a vertebrate paleontologist. He devoured dinosaur books and pestered his parents into summer camping trips in the fossil-rich Alberta badlands—which is how a 14-year-old Larsson ended up meeting paleontology legend Philip Currie.
McGill is thrilled about its double success in the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies’ October 2008 Strategic Cluster competition. The Strategic Cluster program aims to foster the emergence or enhancement of centres of excellence in research that has potentially significant scientific, technological, social and economic benefits for Quebec. Thanks to this new funding
“Canada is a solid, middle-of-the-road performer.” That’s the conclusion of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council in its 2008 State of the Nation report, which benchmarks Canada’s performance on a wide range of science, technology and innovation indicators on an international scale.
At a March 16, 2009, ceremony in Ottawa’s Fairmont Château Laurier, McGill researchers received two of the six 2009 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
They show no symptoms. They’re not contagious. But one-third of the world’s population (according to World Health Organization estimates) carries the latent form of tuberculosis—meaning they can develop the active form at any time. These walking TB reservoirs are the main obstacle to eradicating the disease.
When it comes to slowing aging, the much ballyhooed properties of antioxidants may have some surprise wrinkles. For more than 40 years, prevailing wisdom has linked aging to cellular oxidative stress. This theory postulates that a build-up of reactive oxygen species, or ROS, molecules overwhelms a cell’s ability to repair damage—causing the cell to age. The theory spawned an industry of alternativ
In the world of McGill research, creating new knowledge isn’t an end—it’s the means for developing the innovations that change our world. Lives are improved, and even saved, by ideas that make the long journey from lab to marketplace. And, yes, the commercialization of research stimulates our economy at the local, provincial, national and international levels.
Yes. “Most of the world believes in patents,” says John DiMaio, manager of the Life Sciences Group in McGill’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT). “Last year an unprecedented 500,000 patent applications were filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.” He cautions, however, that North American universities account for only two per cent of granted patents.
On April 23, 2009, Raymond Bachand, Quebec’s Minister of Finance and Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Foreign Trade, announced $3,458,000 to fund 17 international research projects. McGill University researchers are leading six of the projects.
History teaches us that major medical breakthroughs can languish for generations or even disappear completely if they don’t bridge the gap between research and commercial application.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Proof of Principle program is designed to advance discoveries toward commercializable technologies, with a view to attracting new investment and creating new science-based businesses. In the latest round of funding, McGill researchers were successful in all of their applications, receiving five of the 12 “Phase 1” grants.
“It took 40 years to catch on,” says Ronald Melzack of the Gate Control Theory of Pain he developed with Patrick Wall, “and I still have strong opponents: There are still really important physiologists who believe they’ll get an answer to chronic pain by examining spinal cord transmission.”
What is the link between child abuse and adult suicide risk? A startling new study suggests that physical and emotional child abuse makes dramatic and long-lasting changes to young male victims’ brains—increasing the odds that they’ll grow up to become men who commit suicide.
From our hyper-technological 21st-century viewpoint, it may be hard to believe it wasn’t always easy to know the time of day—or even where, exactly, we stood on the planet. But such an era wasn’t that long ago.