In the Headlines news
Dr. Mark Wainberg writes that HIV/AIDS kills 5,000 people each day -- a body count far higher than the number of individuals who have died in recent military conflicts anywhere in the world, and also higher than the number of deaths attributable to any natural disaster in recent memory. Yet HIV/AIDS no longer receives the attention it once did. (Wainberg will co-chair the AIDS conference in Toronto beginning August 13.)
A new technique that uses radar beams to track wet air could lead to more accurate and timely warnings of severe thunderstorms and flash floods. Frédéric Fabry of McGill developed the idea behind the method.
On May 10, 1996, Dr. Stuart Hutchison was just 100 metres from the top of Everest when he turned back. Within hours, eight climbers would die. Bestsellers (Into Thin Air) have debated that deadly day, yet few have heard from the lone Canadian on the climb. McGill grad Hutchison, MD'86, talks to the Ottawa Citizen about climbing, summit fever and morality on the mountainside.
A new treatment for asthma is showing great promise in a multi-centre clinical trial involving MUHC researchers. The project involves treating the airway of the lung with thermal energy. Initial trials have shown dramatic results. Dr. Ronald Olivenstein is lead investigator on the study.
Research into a new family of drugs will be unveiled next month at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, raising hopes that there could soon be another first-line treatment against HIV. Director of the McGill AIDS Centre Dr. Mark Wainberg discusses the research.
McGill's Frederick Andermann, professor of neurology at McGill and internationally known for his treatment of epilepsy, has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Anne Macaulay, a teacher of family medicine at McGill, and Dennis Osmond, emeritus professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, have been named Members of the Order.
Titans of biodiversity science and policy warn that the Earth is on the verge of a major crisis. "Despite this evidence, biodiversity is still consistently undervalued and given inadequate weight in both private and public decisions. There is an urgent need to bridge the gap between science and policy." Biology prof Michel Loreau of McGill is one of 19 experts from 13 countries who endorsed a report which appears in Nature.
Fossil hunters have discovered that fierce prehistoric sea monsters apparently used the Arctic Ocean as a migration route to rule the world's oceans at roughly the same time as dinosaurs reigned on land. The discovery is part of a fossil "hat trick" pulled off by paleontologist Hans Larsson and team as part of a McGill expedition camped on a remote and inhospitable stretch of Melville Island, 1,200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.
McGill professor Karl Moore interviewed business leaders as part of the Desautels Faculty of Management CEO Speaker Series. The first conversation is with Bombardier's Pierre Beaudoin, who reflects on the challenges and rewards of leading a family-controlled business on the world stage.
As more than 7,000 athletes gather in Colorado this week for the North American Indigenous Games, McGill's Waneek Horn-Miller, the most decorated athlete at the games and one of the world's best water polo players, describes how she could easily have called it quits after she was stabbed in the chest during the 1990 Oka standoff.
Neuroscientists at McGill have found that mice suffer elevated distress levels when they see a familiar mouse suffering. Researchers call this shared suffering "emotional contagion" and consider it a primitive and necessary precursor to human empathy. The study, by neuroscientist Jeffrey Mogil, was published in the journal Science.
Antonia Maioni, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, writes in a major essay for the Conference Board of Canada that Stephen Harper's "open federalism" has raised both expectations among Quebecers and the stakes for a possible return to constitutional negotiations. "Although it is unfashionable to mention the 'C-word' these days, sooner or later the constitutional elephant in the room will have to be acknowledged," Ms. Maioni contends.
McGill scientists find mucus is the key to a bizarre mating ritual. By shooting a "love dart," the male snail is injecting its partner with a compound that ensures that more sperm survives. Dr. Ronald Chase and Katrina C. Blanchard's report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society is discussed in the New York Times.
A mechanical hexapod called Aqua is the latest in a series of seagoing robots being developed by a McGill research group. The goal? To develop an underwater vehicle that can autonomously explore and collect data in aquatic environments while surviving the harsh saltwater conditions and often turbulent waters of the open sea. Aqua's builders are tackling one of the most challenging topics in robotics: integrating vision and locomotion into an amphibious machine that can determine what it is "seeing," where it is, and where it is going.