In the Headlines news
A new drug-free therapy wipes away fearful memories in rats and humans. The simple treatment might eventually help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, say researchers. Karim Nader, a neuroscientist at the McGill University performed some of the drug studies.
Canadians are feeling the effects of the global economic downturn, but the current woes are nothing like what was experienced in the '30s, historians say. In fact, despite the economic malaise, optimism remains high that the country will emerge stronger. We are "light years" from the Great Depression, says McGill University economist William Watson.
In the April issue of The Atlantic, Hanna Rosin weighs the arguments on breastfeeding over bottle-feeding and in so doing creates a ripple of controversy: "So overall, yes, breast is probably best," Rosin decides. "But not so much better that formula deserves the label of 'public health menace,' alongside smoking..." Rosin looks at research from McGill's Dr. Michael Kramer for her article.
The Can$250,000 Islam and Evolution research project is the first large study of evolution in countries with significant Muslim populations. Results from the three-year project were presented at a symposium at McGill University in Montreal. The data could help teachers and students from diverse backgrounds work together better.
Lab studies on animals have proven the carcinogenic properties of acrymalide, but McGill's Dr. Ariel Fenster explains that the animals used in the lab tests were exposed to high doses of acrymalide not comparable to typical amounts ingested by humans.
In the journal PLoS Genetics, biologist Siegfried Hekimi demonstrates that worms that have been genetically modified to be less effective at antioxydation -- the elimination of free radicals -- live just as long as regular worms. One of the modified worms actually lived longer than normal.
Jack Horner, the paleontologist whose career inspired the film Jurassic Park, is funding scientists on a quest he hopes will culminate in a fowl whose DNA has been "reverse-engineered" to make the bird more similar to its dinosaur ancestors. The work is carried out by Hans Larsson, a biologist at McGill University in Montreal, and Mary Schweitzer, a paleontologist at North Carolina University.
In a study published in the Journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers report that people who were abused or neglected as children showed genetic alterations that likely made them more biologically sensitive to stress. The findings help clarify the biology behind the wounds of a difficult childhood and hint at what constitutes resilience in those able to shake off such wounds.
Cutting-edge optical laser technique promises to eliminate the need for slides, staining and microscopes
Paul Wiseman and his research team have developed a radically new technique that uses lasers and non-linear optical effects to detect malaria infection in human blood. The new technique promises simpler, faster and far less labour-intensive detection of the malaria parasite in blood samples.
If you imagine a grain of sand and then divide that by a million, you'll have an idea of the size of a nanometer, a measurement of the infinitely small which excites the passions of physicist Guillaume Gervais. In his laboratory at McGill, the researcher opens his door to the cameras of "Québec scientifique".
When communities are broken apart by migration towards towns and cities, rural life suffers. But now, researchers have revealed that biodiversity can also be affected when humans move away. Aerin Jacob, a biologist at McGill University, and her team discovered that as people leave an area, one dominant habitat comes to take over from the diverse mosaic of human-maintained landscapes.
McGill University's Freaky Fridays program, a series of science lectures followed by film screenings, is here to demystify science, dispel some of its more pervasive myths, and keep us terrified of an approaching scientific apocalypse. Started in 2006, the now-monthly series is organized by Ingrid Birker, McGill's science outreach co-ordinator.
In a commentary published in the Jan. 3 issue of the Lancet, medical research expert Jonathan Kimmelman of McGill University, along with colleagues from the University of Western Ontario and University of Indiana call the FDA's move away from the Declaration of Helsinki as an ethical foundation for international clinical trials "troubling."
An opinion piece by Peter G. Brown of McGill and Geoffrey Garver: "Sticking with the economic model that is driving us toward ecological catastrophe will eventually kill us."
In May, researchers at the McGill University Health Centre announced the creation of what they call the world's first fully automated anesthesia system, which has been used in 40 operations so far. In its 8th annual Year in Ideas, New York Times Magazine looks at the McGill innovation known as 'McSleepy'.