In the Headlines news
(Joe Schwarcz): It was back in 1961 that I had dinner with the Montreal Canadiens. Well, not exactly with them. But I did eat in the old Texan restaurant across the street from the hallowed Forum, at the same time that my boyhood idols, “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, Jean Béliveau, Dickie Moore, Bill Hicke (my favourite), Jacques Plante and the rest of that legendary team were digging into their pregame meal. And I vividly remember what they were digging into. Steak! That was standard fare for athletes at the time. The more protein, the better the prospects for butt kicking.
It may seem bizarre that Canada has a maple syrup cartel at all. But think of it this way: Quebec, which produces about 77% of the world’s maple syrup, is the Saudi Arabia of the sweet, sticky stuff, and the FPAQ is its OPEC. The stated goal of the cartel, in this case, is keeping prices relatively stable. The problem with maple syrup is that the natural supply of it varies dramatically from year to year. “It’s highly dependent on the weather,” explains Pascal Theriault, an agricultural economist at the McGill University in Montreal.
Parents of hyped-up, candy-fuelled kids, brace yourselves: There is no such thing as a sugar high... Hyperactive behaviour is more likely attributable to excitement around the activities that typically come with extra treats – such as holidays and birthdays, says Katherine Gray-Donald, an associate professor of dietetics and nutrition at McGill University, and president of the Canadian Nutrition Society.
It's hardly a secret that Barack Obama, like every president no doubt, muses about his ultimate legacy and spot in the presidential pantheon. He approaches his second term confronting tough and shifting challenges that will play big roles in shaping the rest of his presidency and his eventual place in history… "Americans are yearning for leadership," said Gil Troy, a presidential scholar at McGill University.
With a new planet-wide analysis of vertebrate life, an international team has used 21st century science to update an iconic 1876 map of Earth’s zoological regions. By incorporating data on 21,037 species of mammals, birds and amphibians, Jean-Philippe Lessard, now at McGill University in Montreal, and his colleagues have revised a zoological map created by Alfred Russel Wallace, an oft-overlooked cofounder of the theory of evolution. Wallace’s map divided Earth’s landmasses into six major regions, each with its own distinctive blend of vertebrates.
The Schulich School of Music has talented graduates and talented professors. Richard King is up for his 10, 11 and 12th Grammy Award. Christine Long reports. Read more at CTV News
(Desautels' Karl Moore): "Hormones can affect traders’ views. Cambridge’s John Coates believes that the financial crisis was created, to some degree, by people’s body chemistry. Would having more women on Wall Street and in the City help? Let’s listen to John…" Read more at Forbes
n search of genomic incentives Medical innovation involves a peculiar mix of seemingly contradictory motivations. We need to strike the right balance, says Jonathan Kimmelman.
Doctors should think twice about prescribing drugs like Ritalin and Adderall used to treat attention deficit disorder to healthy individuals seeking to boost their brain power, says an article in this weeks edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The authors say prescription stimulants are used by some people for cognitive enhancement in the absence of any medical need.
Scientists have announced a small but important step in the development of an effective cattle vaccine to prevent bovine tuberculosis. They have identified a "biomarker" using sophisticated molecular technology that allows them to predict vaccine efficacy. David Williams, chairman of the Badger Trust, which strongly supports vaccination of both cattle and badgers, said: "We welcome this refinement in laboratory technique, part of the progress towards the long-awaited goal of an effective cattle vaccine.
Tom Velk and Olivia Gong say while China shows all the usual traits of a conventional great power, the West needs to accept that the way it wields its influence is also very different. [Tom Velk is a professor of economics and director of the North American Studies program at McGill University. Olivia Gong is a finance student and research assistant at McGill]. Read more at the South China Morning Post
(Chemistry professor Joe Schwarcz): What did the jockey who never lost a race whisper into the horse's ear? Roses are red violets are blue Horses that lose are made into glue! OK, so it's a groaner. But until the advent of polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and other synthetic glues in the 20th century, the destiny of aging horses was indeed the glue factory. The collagen extracted from their hides, connective tissues and hoofs made for an ideal wood adhesive. Our word "collagen," for the group of proteins found in these tissues, actually derives from the Greek "kolla" for "glue."
A growing body of evidence suggests that the sunshine vitamin can do more than increase bone strength, leading many researchers to pop mega doses of vitamin D in an attempt to ward off a host of conditions, including various cancers, diabetes, heart and autoimmune disease. The more of the nutrient that is in the bloodstream, the better the health outcomes, surveys have found, although not everyone is convinced of the health benefits of higher-dose vitamin D supplements.
McGill wide receiver Shaquille Johnson received the Peter Gorman Trophy, emblematic of the rookie-of-the-year award in CIS football, during the CFL Player Awards ceremony in Toronto Thursday night. Johnson, a 19-year-old management freshman from Brampton, Ont., is only the second McGill player to win the award. Michael Soles was the Peter Gorman Trophy winner in 1986; he went on to a long CFL career. "As a person, Shaq is quiet, modest, and humble," McGill head coach Clint Uttley said. "As a football player, he has a natural feel for the game.