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Are patents the only way to share your inventions?

Not necessarily. The International Expert Group on Biotechnology, Innovation and Intellectual Property, led by McGill law professor Richard Gold, argues that a new intellectual property era may be nigh. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the group recently completed a seven-year project to develop a novel, data

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

How does an invention or discovery move from the lab to the marketplace?

Communicating market dynamics to researchers is just one function of university commercialization units. Its main function is translating a discovery into a marketable product or service. And that’s not always easy. Take, for example, a pharmaceutical discovery. Initial drug candidates can take 10 years, or more, to make it from the laboratory through multiple expensive stages of development to

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

Turning Point 1884

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.

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

Killam Prize Hat Trick and Fellowship

The Canada Council awards the annual Killam Prizes to distinguished Canadian scholars in the fields of health sciences, natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities. Five $100,000 prizes are awarded each year—one in each field—and on May 11, McGill researchers took home three of them.

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

Memory Pioneer: Interview with Brenda Milner

After nearly 60 years of groundbreaking work at McGill, neuroscience pioneer Dr. Brenda Milner won the $1M International Balzan Prize in 2009 for innovative non-traditional research.

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

Connecting the Colloidal Dots

After 15 years of wildly mixed results from colloidal quantum dot light-amplification experiments, many researchers were convinced that some unknown law of physics was stymieing their efforts to drive forward telecommunications technology. Now Patanjali Kambhampati begs to differ.

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

Over the Great Wall

Technology. Archaeology. Poetry. For over 40 years, Robin Yates has been bringing early Chinese cultural history to the West. Now the Association francophone pour le savoir has recognized his efforts with a major prize.

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

How is McGill bridging the “Valley of Death” funding gap?

When a technology is too far along to receive funding from “research” sources (such as government funding agencies), yet not developed enough to attract investors or partnership/licensing arrangements with large companies, it’s said to be languishing in the limbo known as the “Valley of Death.” As a 2008 study by the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies states, “the p

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

The King of (Understanding) Pain: Q&A with Ronald Melzack

Ronald Melzack is an emeritus professor of psychology at McGill who revolutionized the study and treatment of pain. His historic partnership with Patrick Wall of MIT led to the 1965 publication of the Gate Control Theory of Pain, which overturned the then accepted view of pain as a primitive and static danger warning system. Instead, Melzack and Wall argued that psychological factors and environme

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

Quebec Discovery of the Year

Each year, a jury of researchers and science journalists selects Québec Science magazine’s top 10 discoveries of the year. Then readers vote on their single favourite—and the 2008 top honour goes to Dr. Janusz Rak and his team for their discovery of a new way that tumour cells communicate.

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

CFI and Quebec Boost Innovation Infrastructure

Together, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Quebec government have pledged more than $62 million for new state-of-the-art research infrastructure to support the work of five McGill researchers deemed key to keeping Canada and Quebec competitive in the global marketplace.

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009